Lakers Rumors: Kyle Kuzma Trades, Offseason Plans

Kyle Kuzma | Lakers

Despite just having signed him to a fresh contract, the Lakers are gauging interest in the trade market for forward Kyle Kuzma.

After a season that saw LeBron James and company exit the postseason early, the organization is attempting to reload on the fly. Dennis Schroder‘s free agency has been a hot topic of discussion, as has Kuzma’s future with the team. Kuzma’s three-year, $40 million extension begins to kick in ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

In 68 games last year, Kuzma averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game on 44.3% shooting from the field. His true value as an offensive option is highly debated, and the jury is still out on his ability to defend at a high level. With that said, his contract is affordable and perhaps he’d benefit from a change of scenery.

Top Priorities for the Lakers This Offseason

It’s no secret that James isn’t getting any younger. Injuries have taken their toll on him in two of the past three seasons. With that said, he’s still one of the top players in the league. The Lakers want to get him some help, though.

A “difference-making playmaker who would allow James and Davis to spend more time at power forward and center” is atop Los Angeles’ list of offseason priorities, per Marc Stein. A trade for Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry never quite manifested itself at the deadline, and nothing is on the immediate horizon for this offseason. The Lakers have their work cut out for them.

Additionally, shooting is a major need for LA. James-led teams need floor-spacers in order to maximize the value of having one of the best driving threats in NBA history. Affordable shooting is easier to find than affordable, reliable playmaking. Handing the keys to someone to run the offense — even temporarily — requires trust. Who the Lakers end up bringing in will speak volumes to their process this summer.

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