The LA Lakers are one of the favorites to win it all this season, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in great form in the NBA playoffs. Their supporting cast, on the other hand, has failed to perform with any sort of consistency. They have sometimes looked great as they did in Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Houston Rockets. However, no one has stepped up as the genuine 3rd option on that team. NBA Trade Rumors have discussed Kyle Kuzma's future so it is unsure whether the LA Lakers believe in him in the long term.
Heading into next season, the LA Lakers need a good 3rd option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis - one who is willing to take on the pressure in the absence of either of the two main stars.
NBA Trade Rumors: Victor Oladipo will boost the LA Lakers on both ends of the court
The only player on the LA Lakers roster who has averaged more than 10 points this season other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis is Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma scored 12.8 points, albeit on just 43.6% efficiency from the field and 31.6% from three. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has averaged 9 points while Danny Green and Avery Bradley have mustered around 8.
Kuzma can be a sensational offensive player at times but his fit on the current LA Lakers team has been questioned, as per NBA Trade Rumors. A member of the 2017-18 All-Rookie team, Kyle Kuzma averaged 16.1 points on 45% shooting in his rookie season alone. Clearly, his current season statistics are a far cry from what he is capable of doing. If the LA Lakers want to be truly elite, they need someone other than James or Davis to give them at least 15 points on a nightly basis.
Apart from Kuzma, the other bucket-getters have also gone cold on several occasions, causing the two stars to take on extra scoring burden. Danny Green, Avery Bradley and Alex Caruso have all scored with an efficiency of under 45%. Only Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has managed to keep it above that mark but as we know, he often struggled to buy a three in some rough patches.
Victor Oladipo career statistics
Career points per game - 17.3
Career assists per game - 3.9
Career rebounds per game - 4.6
Career field goal % - 44.1%
Career 3pt % - 35.0%
One trade option the LA Lakers must consider is Indiana Pacers shooting guard Victor Oladipo. Oladipo was an All-Star in 2017-18 when he displayed potential to become one of the best two-way players in the league. He was clamping up the opposition's best guard while also scoring over 23 points per game. After the injury, the 6'4" guard hasn't quite looked the same.
There have been instances where Victor Oladipo has looked at his usual best but overall, it's been a struggle for him to return to his All-Star level of production. Oladipo scored over 20 points in the last three playoff games he featured in against the Miami Heat this season but he did not do so with impressive efficiency. Perhaps a new team is what could do the trick for Victor Oladipo.
NBA Trade Rumors: What do LA Lakers need to give up for Victor Oladipo?
Victor Oladipo is on the last year of his current deal, and the Indiana Pacers are willing to listen to options for their once All-Star, according to NBA Trade Rumors. There is a major chance that the 28-year-old rejects a new contract with the Pacers, so it is best to let him walk now.
As per NBA Trade Rumors, any deal would include Danny Green, who hasn't quite looked at his best in an LA Lakers kit. The two-time champion has only shot the three with an efficiency of 36.7% and has sometimes gone on stretches where it has dropped even below 30%. Victor Oladipo is a much more naturally gifted scorer and can give the LA Lakers buckets without LeBron James having to feed him.
Kyle Kuzma would be the main trade asset that the Indiana Pacers would be getting. His potential is still there to be reached and would be a nice addition to their roster, especially if Myles Turner is moved this off-season, and Domantas Sabonis is moved to the center spot.
Published 15 Sep 2020, 09:11 IST