Knicks Have Had Exploratory Kyle Kuzma Talks

The Knicks and Lakers have had exploratory discussions about a possible Kyle Kuzma trade, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Charania follows up by tweeting that several contending teams are expressing interest in Marcus Morris. He doesn’t explicitly state that the Lakers are among those teams, but it seems safe to connect those dots.

While Morris could be a nice fit for the Lakers, it would be a challenge for the club to build a trade package for him with Kuzma as a centerpiece. Los Angeles would need to send out at least $10MM in salary and Kuzma makes just under $2MM. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope unlikely to waive his no-trade clause to accept a trade to New York, that means the Lakers would have to package three or four players to get up to $10MM.

The Knicks added several veteran power forwards during the 2019 offseason, signing Morris, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson in free agency. However, there’s no guarantee that any of those players will be with the franchise for the long term. Only Randle has a fully guaranteed salary for next season, and the man that signed off on all those deals – former president Steve Mills – was dismissed today by the team. It’s possible new interim head of basketball operations Scott Perry envisions a young player like Kuzma as a more logical long-term investment at the four.

Let’s round up a few more Knicks-related items…

  • While it remains to be seen what sort of compensation the Raptors would want for Masai Ujiri, sources tell Ian Begley of that a team in a similar situation last year asked for two first-round picks when another club inquired about a top executive under contract. That exec was considered to be a tier below Ujiri, according to Begley, who suggests that any Knicks’ discussions for the Raptors’ president of basketball operations would probably have to start with a baseline of two first-rounders.
  • Within that same story, Begley identifies several other veteran executives who could make sense as targets for the Knicks, including Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon. Sources tell Begley that Langdon has fans within the organization.
  • Kevin Durant‘s manager Rich Kleiman could be a candidate for the Knicks’ front office opening, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. A longtime fan of the team, Kleiman has previously expressed interest in running the Knicks. Sources tell Berman that Kleiman would likely want to hire Mark Jackson as New York’s head coach if he were in position to do so.
newest oldest

23 thoughts on “Knicks Have Had Exploratory Kyle Kuzma Talks

  1. imindless

    Kuzma, rondo, bradley, cook, for morris and dsj. Then pick up collison on market. Dsj can develop behind collison for a season and morris can slot in the sg postion. Green off the bench.

    • lebuck

      This would be a chemistry killer just by trading away those laker players you noted. What makes it worse is AD would be pissed if we traded Rondo and I don’t think any of the klutch players like Morris given he reneged on the Spurs contract Rich Paul set up

  2. Hopefully any Kuzma discussions ended with Mills’ dismissal. We already have Randle. No more one dimensional players.

    • @nbabrothers

      Definitely agree. Kuzma doesn’t bring anything skill wise to the Knicks. We need to keep Marcus Morris because he is our best player and clutch from the three plus he’s a big that plays good defense. In my opinion, I want to NOT trade the following players:
      RJ Barrett
      Mitchell Robinson
      And YES Julius Randle!

  3. joemoes

    DSJ is worthless. Kuzma isn’t being traded for Morris. Kuzma Vs Morris isn’t a clear upgrade.

  4. Jason Lancaster

    RE: The tidbit about Ujuri and draft pick compensation, the exec was Tim Connelly, and the team was the Wizards.

    And the Knicks interest in Kuzma is all about the NY media…it’s a smart way to drum up some goodwill for the new regime. Smart move by Perry to plant that story.

    • SheaGoodbye

      Definitely could be the case, but would you really put it past the Knicks to go after a guy like Kuzma? He’s a perfect fit for their recent M.O.: guys who can put up numbers that may or may not actually be good/winning basketball players.

  5. hinglemccringleberry

    Oh man! Lebron and Morris ? We would still lose shooters. I don’t think we play Daniels or cook enough. But Morris , Davis, and James? Smh. Crazy big 3. Will Morris resign though.

  6. lebuck

    Not sure if lebron would sign off on Morris given the bad blood with rich Paul.

    • agentx

      Maybe Phil Jackson could use his “zen master” talents to help bring the sides together on a great trade for both the Lakers and the Knicks.

  7. I see Morris as a fit for the Clips, not the Lakers. The latter are looking to upgrade the perimeter (1-2/3), and Morris (like Kuzma) is basically a 4. Morris is also too expensive; nobody’s taking back 4-5 contracts.

    Perry’s job is very basic (though not easy or simple, necessarily). Move wasting assets for future assets, as generically as possible. Meaning draft picks or young readily tradable guys. Ideally, give the new FO some additional flexible assets. Do that job well, and he might be part of that FO and, in any event, people around the league will take notice. Be a carnival barker like his ex-boss – playing to this or that element in the media – and people will take notice of that. He should, at a minimum, get a 1st in a Morris trade that brings back no $$ next year. If he can’t do that, then he needs to do something else for a living.

  8. metsie1

    As stated in the article the money doesn’t work. Morris to the Lakers probably not going to work. Morris to the Clipper now…

  9. Just go get his brother markieff! He’s a good wing and cost a lot less! And we can still keep Kuzma!

Leave a Reply