The Lakers are reportedly open to hearing pitches for Kyle Kuzma.
The Kings have apparently learned how to use their phones.
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
Sacramento is among the teams that has tried to engage the Lakers in Kyle Kuzma trade talks, league sources say. The Kings know they would have to include sharpshooter (and soon-to-be restricted free agent) Bogdan Bogdanovic, for starters, in a Kuzma deal
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 6, 2020
Bogdan Bogdanovic is better than Kuzma. A guard who can handle the ball and shoot, Bogdanovic also fits better in Los Angeles than Kuzma. If a Kuzma-for-Bogdanovic trade – with an injured DeMarcus Cousins for salary-matching – is on the table, the Lakers should do it. Getting even more from Sacramento would be a bonus.
Sacramento may not be so eager.
Re: @TheSteinLine’s intel about possible Kuzma-for-Bogdanovic swap, I’m told Kings are unlikely to be interested straight up. They value his versatility, are comfortable w/ his restricted free agency & are 0-6 w/out him. https://t.co/TLJqACY03F
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 6, 2020
Kuzma is expendable because Los Angeles already has LeBron James and Anthony Davis as players getting minutes at power forward. But the Kings have Marvin Bagley III, Harrison Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica as long- and short-term options at power forward. Maybe Sacramento could use Kuzma’s scoring spark, but the positional fit is weird there, too.
Kuzma (24) is younger than Bogdanovic (27). Kuzma also has an extra season beyond this one before he hits free agency. Bogdanovic reportedly also isn’t content coming off the Kings’ bench long-term. (Bogdanovic might start on the wing in Los Angeles with LeBron at point guard. If not, Bogdanovic might be happier coming of the bench for a contender.)
But Sacramento will hold Bogdanovic’s matching rights – and, therefore, significant leverage – next summer. Bogdanovic can’t unilaterally leave for another NBA team. The Kings shouldn’t have too much urgency to move him.
That’s why I’m skeptical about this report. It just doesn’t make enough sense for Sacramento. On the other hand, it’s plausible, because Kangz.
Whatever the accuracy of this report, expect to be only one of many about Kuzma trade talks. We’ll see how that affects him. He has stated his desire to stay in Los Angeles rather than get shipped to a smaller market. Trade rumors sapped the Lakers’ morale last season, and Kuzma appeared to be hit particularly hard.