December 17, 2019
NBA Rumors: LA Lakers Could Trade Kyle Kuzma For 'Last Piece' Of Championship Core, According To Analyst

Despite failing to acquire Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA free agency, some people believe that the Los Angeles Lakers already have their third superstar in Kyle Kuzma. Unfortunately, since returning from an injury, Kuzma is yet to live up to expectations from the man who's expected to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis carry the Lakers back to title contention. If Kuzma won't show massive improvements by the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, rumors are circulating that the Lakers may consider trading him for the "last piece" of their championship core.

In a recent appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Brian Windhorst of ESPN and Bills Simmons of The Ringer discussed several topics, including what the Lakers should do with Kuzma. Though he showed good chemistry with James last season, Windhorst thinks that Kuzma isn't a good fit in Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel's system.

"Frank] Vogel doesn't think Kuzma is a good fit," Windhorst said, as quoted by Metro USA.

"If you look at the history of LeBron in the last 12 years two types of people play with LeBron. Shooters and defenders. Now Brandon Ingram, ironically this year is shooting."
Both Simmons and Windhorst agreed that the Lakers should trade Kuzma before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Though he admitted that he has no insider information whether the Lakers are planning to move Kuzma or not, Simmons believes that keeping him on their roster no longer makes any sense.

"I don't know if the Lakers are there yet. But the one thing I never could understand was how LeBron, Davis and Kuzma could all play together considering they all basically play the same position," Simmons said.

For Simmons, he strongly suggested that the Lakers should use Kuzma as a trade chip to get the "last piece" of their championship team.

"If they want to win the title this year, that's the last piece for them. Use Kuzma and try to get that last piece."
Metro USA's Matt Burke mentioned three players that the Lakers could target before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. These include Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls, Marcus Morris of the New York Knicks, and Doug McDermott of the Indiana Pacers. Of all those three, Lavine is undeniably the most intriguing trade target for the Lakers.

The potential arrival of Lavine would enable the Lakers to address their need of a big-time scorer in their backcourt. However, though the Lavine-for-Kuzma trade looks like a fair swap, the Lakers still need to add more players in the trade package to match the Bulls' outgoing salary.