NBA Rumors: Lakers Trading Kuzma, McGee and KCP for Bradley Beal?
New NBA rumors indicate that the Los Angeles Lakers may trade Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Bradley Beal.
The Lakers upgraded in a big way this summer by acquiring Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The deal ultimately cost them Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, as well as future picks.
However, you would be hard pressed to find someone who says it wasn’t a worthwhile sacrifice.
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Any time you can pick up a top five player in the NBA, you do it.
Now, the Lakers may have their sights set on one more superstar: the 26-year-old Beal.
Beal signed a massive $127 million deal with the Washington Wizards in 2016. At the time, the five-year commitment he made to the team looked like the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership.
Fast forward to 2019 – and both parties seem to realize that the end is inevitably near.
Beal is reluctant to sign a long-term deal with the Wizards, and Washington seems to realize that unless the oft-injured John Wall returns to old form, they will need to start rebuilding.
That is where the Lakers come in.
Beal would be a perfect fit beside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Over the past three seasons he has averaged at least 23 points in each and every campaign, and this past year he upped that total to 25.6 points per game. Beal did all this while shooting 47.5 percent and handing out 5.5 assists.
Although his three-point percentage has been on a downward spiral over the last few seasons, he is still shooting a solid 38.4 percent for his career. And the one big weakness the Lakers had last year and continue to have is their shooting.
What would LA offer up for Beal? A deal with Kuzma as the centerpiece.
Kuzma, 24, is a young star in the making who has worked over the summer to improve all his notable weaknesses – namely three-point shooting and defense. The early reviews on his progress from Team USA Basketball are very positive.
Last year he averaged 18.7 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting. He also grabbed 5.5 rebounds per game and dished out 2.5 assists – all the while playing in a Luke Walton offense that really did not suit his game at all.
The Pelicans reportedly made a heavy push to also acquire Kuzma in the deal for Davis, but the Lakers put their foot down. Jeanie Buss in particular is said to have a strong affinity for Kuzma’s playing style and attitude.
That said, LA needs to compete for a title this year. They have two or three years of peak LeBron James left, max, and they cannot afford to waste it on a developing talent.
As noted by SportsSkeeda, the Lakers would also likely toss in the contracts of JaVale McGee and KCP, or other players of that ilk.
“Evidently, a player of Beal’s qualities would be of interest to the Lakers, and the 26-year-old would fit seamlessly alongside James and Anthony. A trade would be tough to complete due to LA’s lack of cap space, and the likes of JaVale McGee, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would need to be included in any deal.”
Obviously the Wizards don’t want to trade Beal. He is a proven talent that they could build around very easily. But if it turns out that he refuses to sign a long term deal with them, they may choose to move him for something now before they lose him for nothing later.