Rob Pelinka initiated talks with Kings to gauge interest in Kyle Kuzma trade
The Los Angeles Lakers have been looking for ways to improve their roster ahead of the second half of the season, including drumming up a market for third-year forward Kyle Kuzma. According to Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times, it was general manager Rob Pelinka who called the Sacramento Kings to gauge their interest in trading for Kuzma.
The Lakers have postured as a team that won’t make any dramatic moves, but they have been willing to listen to conversations regarding anyone not named LeBron James or Anthony Davis. Danny Green, the prototypical three-and-D player that holds it all together, has been rumored to be as close to untouchable as the aforementioned two.
Yet Kuzma has largely underperformed as a sixth man, averaging merely 12 points and 3.6 rebounds per game this season. It stands to reason why Pelinka greased the wheels on a potential Kuzma-Bogdan Bogdanovic swap, considering the Kings must make a decision on the Serbian guard soon before he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Bogdanovic is surprisingly the most sought-after of the two, as a three-and-D specialist who seems comfortable in his role and has managed to excel in it. Kuzma, who had a strong rookie season surprising many in his draft class, has come back down now that isolation scoring is not as readily available as it once was. His shooting percentages reflect that, making 42.5% of his shots from the floor and 34.6% of his 3-pointers.
Kyle Kuzma doesn’t offer any defensive intangibles or playmaking chops, making him only a player with upside in the scoring department.
Rob Pelinka is likely to throw feelers around the league to gauge the interest in the third-year wing, but if he can’t find the right package, he and the front office will have to look for other avenues to bolster this roster for the postseason.