The Los Angeles Lakers have been outstanding all season long, and at 36-9, they currently have a firm hold on the number one seed in a ruthless Western Conference. Nonetheless, this has not stopped them from considering their options as the February trade deadline quickly approaches.
At this point, the biggest name that has been rumored to be on the trading block for L.A. is none other than 6-foot-8 power forward Kyle Kuzma. Right now, the third-year man is averaging 13.2 points (on 43.2 percent shooting), 3.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists, while also knocking down 1.6 3-pointers in 24.9 minutes per ballgame. These are indeed some serviceable numbers for someone coming off the bench, but then again, there is a belief that the Lakers are now willing to use Kuzma as a potential trading piece to add another talent that will hopefully take them over the edge.
A player that the Lakers should be looking at right now is Andre Iguodala of the Memphis Grizzlies. Following the 35-year-old’s summer move from the Golden State Warriors, Iguodala has yet to play a single game for his new squad, as he continues to try and force his way out of Memphis. Bringing in a player with Iguodala’s wealth of experience will certainly boost L.A.’s title odds, and while the Grizzlies have reportedly slapped a hefty price tag on the three-time NBA champ, getting Kyle Kuzma in return should at the very least pique their interest.
Another veteran that has recently been the subject of several trade rumors is Minnesota Timberwolves 3-and-D specialist Robert Covington. For Minnesota, adding Kuzma to their young core of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins makes the team’s future even brighter. In Covington, the Lakers will have a legitimate lock-down defender that should also help space the floor on offense.
Bogdan Bogdanovic is another wing that L.A. has reportedly shown interest in. However, former Lakers head coach Luke Walton is pretty high on the sharps-hooting 27-year-old, who is currently averaging a career-best 2.6 triples per ballgame on a 37.3 percent clip. The Kings are reportedly willing to look into a potential trade, but only if Kuzma is included as part of the package.
At this point, it seems that the Lakers are in a relatively advantageous position. Their current roster has already proven that they are legitimate title contenders this term, so even if they are unable to deal Kuzma, he should still be a solid option for them coming off the bench. On the contrary, dealing him away in exchange for a potentially season-defining acquisition will obviously be something that will work in their favor.