The Lakers‘ trade options this winter may be somewhat limited, given their lack of mid-level contracts and the fact that three of their players have the ability to veto deals. However, if they’re willing to move Kyle Kuzma, it could open up some doors.
In an Insider-only article for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks explore the Lakers’ trade possibilities, noting that packaging Kuzma with both Quinn Cook and DeMarcus Cousins would be enough for the team to bring back a player earning up to $13.5MM.
While ESPN’s duo offers a few ideas for potential targets, Pelton and Marks agree that Timberwolves forward Robert Covington should be “Option A” for L.A in that scenario. According to Marks, Minnesota will likely have the ability to create a bidding war for Covington if he’s shopped leading up to the deadline, so the Lakers’ package wouldn’t necessarily be enough — especially since the Wolves may prioritize acquiring a point guard.
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- Within that same ESPN Insider article, Marks questions Kuzma’s overall trade value, while Pelton argues the young forward would be more valuable to another team that could benefit more from his shot creation. While there were reports during last year’s Anthony Davis trade talks with the Pelicans that the Lakers insisted on keeping Kuzma, Marks says he heard from reliable sources that New Orleans was actually focused on Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball anyway.
- Within a mailbag article, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register looks at some of the potential factors involved in a Kuzma trade with the Kings or another team, while also addressing LeBron James‘ groin issue and Rajon Rondo‘s up-and-down play.
- With the Lakers set to host the Knicks on Tuesday night, Julius Randle revisited the end of his tenure in Los Angeles in 2018, suggesting that it “wasn’t the right situation” for him, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “Do I wish it would’ve worked out differently? I don’t get into what-ifs,” Randle said. “It worked out how it was supposed to. I’m happy where I’m at now. Everything in life happens for a reason. Highs and lows of life happens for a reason. It made me the person I am today and I’m extremely happy to be a Knick.”