With the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly hoping to bolster their championship odds by adding proven veterans to shore up their weaknesses ahead of the February trade deadline, various trade rumors have swirled around the last remaining member of what used to be their young core — third-year forward Kyle Kuzma. Recent reports have suggested that Los Angeles is now willing to listen to offers for Kuzma, and as one publication wrote, one of these offers could theoretically come from the struggling Golden State Warriors.
In an article published on Monday, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey listed five teams that could serve as possible destinations for Kuzma in the event the Lakers decide to move him before next month’s trade deadline. These include the Warriors, who are currently at last place in the Western Conference with a 9-29 record, with the All-Star backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both sidelined with serious injuries. As a result of this, Golden State is expected to be among the top favorites to get the first overall pick in this year’s draft lottery, though that could also mean putting some of their erstwhile contributors on the trading block in the coming weeks.
As suggested by Bailey, the Warriors could land Kuzma by trading two of their shooting guards — Alec Burks and Jordan Poole — to Los Angeles, with the Lakers also giving up a future second-round pick to sweeten the deal. The Bleacher Report writer noted that the 24-year-old forward will be entering the final year of his rookie contract next season, which could make him a plausible acquisition for a Warriors team that has several players — including Curry, Thompson, D’Angelo Russell, and Draymond Green — on “hefty” deals that eat into the organization’s salary-cap space.
Sustaining an injury playing for Team USA this offseason may be the reason why Kyle Kuzma can soon find himself getting dealt to a new team this season pic.twitter.com/bBpfgHVA8v
— Jalen & Jacoby (@JalenandJacoby) January 6, 2020
Aside from the rumors suggesting that the Warriors are willing to trade Burks in order to make way for less-heralded, yet promising backcourt players such as Ky Bowman and Damion Lee, it was pointed out that the veteran guard could team up with Dwight Howard to give the Lakers a solid “one-two bench punch.”
“Burks has shown a knack for scoring out of isolation this season (1.03 points per possession, 76th percentile), something that could come in handy for lineups that have struggled to score when LeBron James is on the bench,” Bleacher Report’s Bailey added.
The Warriors aren’t the only team that has recently been recommended as a potential landing spot for Kuzma. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Minnesota Timberwolves have also stood out as an ideal trade partner, as the Lakers could hypothetically address some of their weak points by acquiring a skilled “three-and-D” player like Robert Covington.