The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off one of the hardest weeks imaginable for a team but after a couple games to bring them to some form of normalcy now, they have to focus back in on basketball.
This is especially true with the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline coming up on Feb. 6 and the Lakers have a big decision to make when it comes to their roster, namely Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma’s name has been in trade discussions for some time now and he is easily the team’s most valuable piece, but his fit on this roster is still somewhat clunky. It was recently reported that Kuzma was discussed by the Sacramento Kings, who offered Nemanja Bjelica and an undisclosed draft pick for him.
As it stands, the Lakers are reportedly fielding offers for Kuzma, but are finding it difficult to flip him for a more talented veteran due to his small contract, according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:
Reports have them fielding offers for power forward Kyle Kuzma as a potential trade chip, but his modest rookie salary-scale contract, which pays him less than $2 million this season, makes it challenging to flip him for a more talented, proven player.
A source familiar with the team’s thinking disputes that the Lakers are aggressively shopping Kuzma after he appeared to co-sign disparaging remarks made by his personal trainer about LeBron James.
With all of the reports surrounding the team’s trade deadline plans, it seems to be the most likely scenario they stand pat by Feb. 6, but then become major factors in the buyout market. Every season, there are very unexpected and talented players that end up on the buyout market and the Lakers would be a hard team to turn down in that scenario.
It’s hard to imagine the Lakers will enter the 2020 NBA playoffs with their roster looking the exact same as it does today since there are too many distinct flaws right now. The Lakers need a reliable backup point guard and more depth on the wings, preferably someone defensive-minded.