2:48pm: The Kings are unlikely to be interested in essentially swapping Bogdanovic straight up for Kuzma, Sam Amick of The Athletic hears (Twitter link). According to Amick, Sacramento values Bogdanovic’s versatility and is comfortable with his upcoming restricted free agency.
1:34pm: The Kings are among the teams that have made an effort to engage in discussions with the Lakers about a potential Kyle Kuzma trade, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).
Kuzma’s name has popped up in trade rumors as of late, with a Friday report suggesting that teams had begun to due diligence on the Lakers’ forward in case he’s placed on the trade block. Over the weekend, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Lakers had become open to listening to inquiries on Kuzma. Based on today’s update from Stein, it appears one of those inquiries has come from Sacramento.
Stein goes on to say that the Kings “know they would have to include” Bogdan Bogdanovic in any deal for Kuzma, which is an interesting detail. Bogdanovic, a former first-round pick who plays on the wing, has been more productive than Kuzma so far in 2019/20, averaging 14.5 PPG and 3.6 APG with a .383 3PT%. He also looks like a better fit for the Lakers’ current roster, given the team’s logjam at the four.
Kuzma, who averaged a career-high 18.7 PPG last season, has struggled in the first half of 2019/20 since returning from an offseason foot injury, recording just 11.8 PPG in 27 games. The Lakers are still figuring out how to best use him in a lineup that includes power forwards Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Kuzma has also had to deal with an ankle sprain, as well as a mini-controversy off the court after his trainer criticized LeBron.
On the plus side, Kuzma’s contract situation is more favorable than Bogdanovic’s, at least in the short term. Kuzma is earning less than $2MM this season and won’t reach restricted free agency until 2021, while Bogdanovic has an $8.5MM salary and will be an RFA this summer.
Sacramento may be reluctant to invest big money in Bogdanovic after signing Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield to lucrative long-term deals, particularly with De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley becoming eligible for extensions of their own in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
If the Lakers and Kings were to make a deal centered around Kuzma and Bogdanovic, L.A. would have to add at least one more player for salary-matching purposes. Attaching Quinn Cook ($3MM) or DeMarcus Cousins ($3.5MM) to Kuzma would do the trick.