The elite teams in the NBA are expected to be active at the trade deadline and while it was thought before the season that the Lakers had no more moves to make after trading away most of their assets, that mindset could soon change. Here is the latest on Knicks Kyle Kuzma NBA Trade Rumors Bulls Pacers Lakers.
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Kyle Kuzma is the Lakers’ biggest trade chip right now and if Rob Pelinka believes that his team has a better shot of capturing the championship this season by landing a player more complementary to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, he won’t hesitate in pulling the trigger on a Kuzma deal.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons got the trade fire wood burning on Simmons’ podcast last week, discussing why the Lakers trading Kuzma could very well happen. Here is the discussion regarding Knicks Kyle Kuzma NBA Trade Rumors Bulls Pacers Lakers.
Windhorst: [Frank] Vogel doesn’t think Kuzma is a good fit. If you look at the history of LeBron in the last 12 years two types of people play with LeBron. Shooters and defenders. Now Brandon Ingram, ironically this year is shooting.”
Simmons: The move is to trade Kuzma.
Simmons on Knicks Kyle Kuzma NBA Trade Rumors Bulls Pacers Lakers: I don’t know if the Lakers are there yet. But the one thing I never could understand was how LeBron, Davis and Kuzma could all play together considering they all basically play the same position.
Windhorst: I think the fact that Kuzma can’t defend or shoot at a high level is the issue. He’s not a good enough shooter to be a stretch four.
Simmons: If they want to win the title this year, that’s the last piece for them. Use Kuzma and try to get that last piece.
As for teams that could be interested in building around a player like Kuzma, we look to the league’s dregs.
The Bulls could look to ship Zach LaVine to the Lakers as Los Angeles covets a big-time scorer in the backcourt. LaVine is currently averaging 22.6 points per game and is shooting 41.1 percent from 3-point territory.
The Knicks also seem ready to make some moves, starting with veteran Marcus Morris. Morris is leading the Knicks in points per game this season at 18.7, and is shooting 47.3 percent from deep.
One wild card here is the Pacers, which are another team that could be active at the trade deadline as they need to get more athletic to get into the top tier of the Eastern Conference. Taking on Kuzma and shipping out a player like Doug McDermott would ultimately be beneficial toward Indiana’s goal of getting out of the middle of the pack. And the Lakers would obviously love to have McDermott in the corners knocking down 3s.