The Detroit Pistons made a statement of intent when they traded for Blake Griffin in January 2018. They signaled their intention of wanting to be one of the top teams in the NBA, and potentially win the title sometime in the future. Many NBA Trade Rumors, which suggested that the Pistons could make more moves, followed the arrival of Griffin.
However, it wasn't to be, and while Blake Griffin had a career year in 2018-19 with the Pistons, his recurrent injuries restricted him from being the superstar he could have become. As things stand, the Detroit Pistons have lost former All-Star center Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and are barely challenging for a place in the playoffs, let alone the NBA title.
Obviously, wholesale changes are needed. But the need of the hour for the Detroit Pistons is to get the maximum value they can from their players who are thought to be on the trade block, including Derrick Rose.
NBA Trade Rumors: Kyle Kuzma has the potential to be a special scorer with the Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons might not have an extremely promising young core, but they do have pieces to build around. Unrestricted free agent Christian Wood has been a revelation for the Pistons, and the franchise will do everything in its power to bring him back.
23-year-old Luke Kennard is one of the hottest shooters in the NBA. Youngsters Svi Mykhailiuk and Sekou Doumbouya have also shown a lot of promise, and Pistons fans can expect them to develop into solid role players, if not NBA stars.
Just about everyone else, though, should be on the trade block for the Detroit Pistons, including Blake Griffin and his astronomic salary. They can't expect to get back much for the power forward given his contract, but one player who can command a little bid of a bidding war is former MVP Derrick Rose.
The 31-year-old has been strongly courted by many franchises after enjoying a resurgence of late post his infamous injury. Rose is obviously not getting any younger, and it will be best for him and the Detroit Pistons to allow him to leave for greener pastures. The Pistons can get pieces to warrant a better future, while Rose's new team would get a vastly experienced point guard in their rotation.
The team that has been linked heaviest with bagging Derrick Rose is LeBron James and his LA Lakers side. The LA Lakers lack a reliable third scoring option after LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Derrick Rose could do that job to perfection.
He was the top scorer of the Detroit Pistons this season with 18.1 points per game - a lot more than anyone managed on the LA Lakers roster barring LeBron and Davis.
Kyle Kuzma career statistics
Career points per game - 16.0
Career assists per game - 1.9
Career rebounds per game - 5.5
Career field goal % - 44.9%
Career 3pt % - 33.1%
The one player the Detroit Pistons absolutely need to demand from the LA Lakers is Kyle Kuzma. The 25-year-old looked like a great offensive player in his first two seasons in the NBA, but just had the worst career of his season, statistically speaking. He simply couldn't get into the starting five, and perhaps this sudden demotion demolished his confidence.
However, he is clearly very talented and has gone on runs where he has looked unstoppable. He could be lethal with a team where he is one of the primary scorers.
The Detroit Pistons will allow him a lion's share of the ball and let him express himself. That could open up his untapped potential and Kuzma could genuinely become a 20+ points per game scorer.
NBA Trade Rumors: What is the total package that the Detroit Pistons should demand from the LA Lakers?
As mentioned, the Detroit Pistons must acquire Kyle Kuzma in this deal. Another player they could try and snag up is Avery Bradley. The former NBA All-Defensive player would be a fantastic addition to the Pistons' back court, and a like-for-like replacement for the outgoing Derrick Rose.
The LA Lakers too should best believe that Kyle Kuzma will be rejecting the qualifying offer at the end of his contract, which has another year left on it. As a result, they shouldn't mind letting him go.
In fact, it is an open secret that they tried to ship Kuzma away before the trade deadline this season itself. It failed to happen then, but it must go through this time.
Published 14 Sep 2020, 03:00 IST