Since the 2019-20 season officially started, rumors have been continuously swirling around Kyle Kuzma and his future with the Los Angeles Lakers. With his perceived failure to live up to expectations as the Lakers’ third superstar behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, most people believe that Kuzma will be moved before the February trade deadline. As of now, several teams have already been linked to the former No. 27 overall pick, including the Sacramento Kings.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Kings tried to acquire Kuzma by offering a package including Nemanja Bjelica and a future draft pick to the Lakers. Unfortunately, Los Angeles didn’t think that their Pacific Division rival’s offer was enough for Kuzma as they reportedly demanded Bogdan Bogdanovic as well. As O’Connor stated, this was too much for Sacramento, which “refused” the counter-offer.
It’s not a surprise that the Kings are apparently interested in acquiring Kuzma from the Lakers. Though he has gone through plenty of ups and downs in the 2019-20 campaign, the third-year forward has shown huge superstar potential from the time he set foot in the NBA in 2017. At the age of 24, “Kuz” perfectly fits the timeline of Sacramento franchise cornerstones De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. However, it seems that the team values Bogdanovic’s contributions more than what Kuzma could bring to their roster.
The Kings’ refusal to trade Bogdanovic for Kuzma left some people wondering what Sacramento really intends to do with the Serbian wingman. With his impending free agency, O’Connor believes that keeping the 27-year-old shooter for the remainder of the current season would be “problematic” for the Kings. If they have no intention of giving him a huge payday in this year’s free agency period, they may be better off trading Bogdanovic for a larger wing or a big man, O’Connor added.
“Hield and Harrison Barnes just got paid, and De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III are due new contracts in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Unless the Kings decide it’s in their best interest to commit roughly $75 million to Fox, Hield, and Bogdanovic starting in 2021, trading one of Hield or Bogdanovic for a larger wing or a big man would make sense.”
As of now, it remains unknown if there are still ongoing negotiations between the Lakers and the Kings. But if Sacramento changes its stance on sending Bogdanovic to Los Angeles, Kuzma could end up reuniting with Coach Luke Walton before next week’s trade deadline.