Rob Pelinka has never been one to get complacent, so it comes as no surprise that he is exploring every avenue to improve the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster this summer.
That has led to the Lakers being linked to just about every big-name player available in free agency and the trade market despite the team not having a lot of cap space or assets to work with.
If the Lakers want to pull off a big move then it may have to come via trade, and the only players currently under contract other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis that can be dealt are Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell is he opts into his player option. Free agents like Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker can also be dealt as a part of a sign-and-trade although that would take their approval.
Because of that though, it comes as no surprise that the Lakers have been shopping both Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope in trade talks. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on his draft and free agency special that the Lakers have offered either Kuzma or Caldwell-Pope, or both, to just about every team in the league:
“They have literally offered Kyle Kuzma and KCP to almost—almost every team I’ve talked to in the league has been offered some combination of Kuz and KCP. Sometimes both of them, one of them. That’s not going to get them back a point guard of Dennis’ stature.”
Just because Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope are being shopped doesn’t mean the Lakers are set on trading them. It makes sense for Pelinka to do his due diligence though and search every avenue of improving the roster.
Part of what may make both of those players appealing to other teams is their contracts as Kuzma has a reasonable three-year, $39 million extension that is about to kick in and Caldwell-Pope still has two years left on essentially the same deal.
Lakers and Kings have discussed trade involving Kuzma and Hield
One trade the Lakers have reportedly discussed involving Kuzma was with the Sacramento Kings for Buddy Hield. That would give the Lakers a much-needed shooter while allowing Kuzma to have a bigger, more consistent role on a young Kings team, which is something he’s said to have interest in.
It’s unclear if Caldwell-Pope would be involved in that trade as well, but it would take more than just Kuzma to match salaries and pry Hield away from the Kings.
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