Even with two straight wins since their Christmas Day loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers remain the subject of many a trade rumor, with several publications offering their suggestions on deals the team should make in order to improve their chances of winning an NBA championship this season. One newer recommendation posits that the Lakers’ superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis could benefit from playing alongside one of the league’s better “three-and-D” specialists — Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington.
In a report published on Monday by Fansided blog Los Angeles Sports Hub, Jason Reed wrote that it would be “foolish” for the Lakers to remain quiet in the lead-up to the February trade deadline and not attempt to make any moves to bolster their rotation. With that in mind, he pointed out that the team is in need of a wing player such as Covington — a skilled three-point shooter and former All-Defensive Team selection — who can help on both ends of the floor. Furthermore, it was noted that the 29-year-old forward is “easily obtainable” as a trade target, due to his comparatively affordable $11.3 million salary for the 2019-20 season.
As further explained by Reed, the Lakers could theoretically acquire Covington from the Timberwolves by offering a trade package that includes third-year forward Kyle Kuzma, rookie wingman Talen Horton-Tucker, reserve combo guard Quinn Cook, veteran forward Jared Dudley, and a 2020 first-round draft pick. This trade idea also involves Los Angeles acquiring Minnesota’s second-round selection in the upcoming draft.
"We beat ourselves. Plain and simple." @kylekuzma (25 PTS, 4 REB) on continuing to find his offensive rhythm and the #Lakers' struggles down the stretch with @LakersReporter. pic.twitter.com/FDlbEeau7V
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) December 26, 2019
While Kuzma has been a productive player for Los Angeles since his rookie season in 2017-18, L.A. Sports Hub‘s Reed stressed that moving him to Minnesota in such a deal would be worth it, as Covington could prove to be a much better fit.
“Kuzma is a great player and is someone who Laker fans were excited to watch this season with Davis on the team. However, it has become quite clear that Kuzma is not a great fit on this Lakers team. He is not a reliable-enough three-point shooter and is not a good enough defender to completely trust, especially in the playoffs.”
Considering how the Lakers will be sacrificing some bench depth if they make the hypothetical deal, Reed wrote that the team could make up for this by signing players who may be available via buyout later in the season.
This is far from the first time that Kuzma has been mentioned as someone Los Angeles could trade ahead of the February deadline. Last week, reports suggested that the 24-year-old forward might be the player most teams will be interested in, assuming Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka decides to shake things up and address his team’s weaknesses.