Lakers Trying To Trade Kyle Kuzma Because Of LeBron James?
Are the Lakers trying to trade Kyle Kuzma because of LeBron James?
That is one theory floating around on the heels of news that LA initiated a call to the Sacramento Kings regarding a possible trade.
According to LA Times Lakers insider Tania Ganguli, it was team general manager Rob Pelinka who reached out to Sacramento to gauge their interest in Kuzma – not vice versa.
This is particularly intriguing in light of recent comments made by former Lakers assistant coach, Brian Shaw.
During a recent appearance on Yahoo! Sports’ The Bounce, Shaw suggested that two things may be impacting Kuzma’s declining value to LA.
Former Lakers Assistant Coach Brian Shaw thinks Kyle Kuzma is ‘outta there’
“When you don’t sign with Rich Paul and your trainer comes out and say Kawhi was giving the business to LeBron, you’re gonna be outta there”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 7, 2020
The first is his decision not to sign with James’ good friend Rich Paul as his agent. The second is controversial comments made by Kuzma’s trainer regarding James.
“When you don’t sign with Rich Paul and your trainer comes out and say Kawhi was giving the business to LeBron, you’re gonna be outta there,” Shaw said.
Kuzma is widely regarded as the Lakers’ lone good trade asset. While the organization has previously been high on him as a developing talent, his dipping numbers this season seem to indicate that he is not ready to step into a consistent supporting role to James and Anthony Davis.
Last year Kuzma averaged 18.7 points per game and this year that number is down to 12 points per game.
If LA feels like the team needs to be improved for a real championship run, trading away Kuzma is really the only way to make that happen.
And when you couple that with the little issues he has had with James and Paul up to this point, a move before the trade deadline suddenly becomes a lot more feasible.