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3 Teams that should trade for Kyle Kuzma before the deadline | NBA Trade Window

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 30 Dec 2019, 05:00 IST

Kyle Kuzma is the Lakers
Kyle Kuzma is the Lakers' biggest trade asset right now

When the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Anthony Davis in the summer of 2019, it was evident right then that the franchise was all-in in terms of competing for a title. However, AD's arrival meant relegation to the bench for their best power forward until then, Kyle Kuzma.

Having averaged 18.7 points per game last season on 45.6% shooting, Kuz was all set to elevate his game to All-Star levels until the arrival of Davis. Since then, he is being afforded fewer minutes and consequently, his production has dipped. This by no means is an indication that the player has already peaked. Kuzma still has a huge upside that rebuilding teams could exploit.

Now, the Lakers are in no soup by any means. They have the best record in the Western Conference and are surely set for a deep run in the postseason. However, they too will be looking to fortify given their recent 4-game losing streak and the fact that they are yet to beat the Los Angeles Clippers this season. Kuzma is the purple and gold's biggest trade asset at the moment and hence they are likely to listen to offers in this regard.

Having said that, here's a look at three teams that should look to trade for Kyle Kuzma.


#3 Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC could offer the Lakers Dennis Schroder in return
OKC could offer the Lakers Dennis Schroder in return

Nobody expected the OKC Thunder to be as good they are right now - with an above .500 win record and occupying the 7th seed in the West. Having said that, the Thunder's stance to rebuild hasn't changed and Kyle Kuzma is the perfect talent they should go after.

If you look at the Thunder's roster, there's a clear lack of frontcourt players who can produce the goods on the offensive end with the exception of Danilo Gallinari, who himself is expected to the traded. OKC could do well with Kuzma who not only is contracted until 2021, he'll be a restricted free agent following that, allowing the Thunder to keep hold of him for long.

Kuzma's production can obviously not be doubted and the youngster is only likely to benefit from the mentorship of Chris Paul. Kuz will be back to playing starting minutes for the Thunder once Gallo is traded and Thunder could use his production to hold on to a low playoff seed.

In return, the Lakers can be offered Dennis Schroder, who will not only be a massive upgrade for the Lakers, he will also add the ball-handling and scoring threat that the franchise so desperately needs. Additionally, he could also be LA's long term solution at point. A couple of other Laker players will have to be involved for the salaries to match but a trade is certainly possible.

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Published 30 Dec 2019, 05:00 IST
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