Despite failing to acquire Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA free agency, most people believed that the Los Angeles Lakers already had their third superstar in Kyle Kuzma. Unfortunately, Kuzma failed to efficiently co-exist alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kuzma still has the remaining games of the 2019-20 NBA season to prove himself to the Lakers, but if he fails to make a huge impact, especially in the postseason, it is highly likely that he’s already playing his final season wearing the Purple and Gold.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Kuzma would be the “most important trade chip” for the Lakers in the 2020 NBA offseason. Kuzma may currently be considered an odd fit in Los Angeles, but the Lakers could use him to bring in an impact player that complements James and Davis. As Pincus noted, some of the potential trade targets for the Lakers in a deal involving Kuzma include Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets, Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings, and Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls.
“Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie would be an ideal target if he became available. Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield is an elite shooter and could feast on open looks that James and Davis generate. An athletic scorer like Zach LaVine might be interesting as well, given the Chicago Bulls’ recent front-office turnover. Kuzma is under contract for one more season at $3.6 million (he’s eligible for an extension this offseason), so the Lakers would need to send out significant additional salary to match for higher-paid players like LaVine or Hield. The Lakers also don’t have much else to offer in terms of future draft considerations.”
Though none of them has reached the level of a legitimate NBA superstar, Dinwiddie, Hield, and Lavine would all still be intriguing acquisitions for the Lakers. As a point guard, the potential arrival of Dinwiddie in Los Angeles would immediately address the Lakers’ of another playmaker and shot creator. Dinwiddie could take charge when James needs to rest or suffers an injury, or he could serve as the Lakers’ lead playmaker when Coach Frank Vogel decides to use LeBron as his starting small forward.
Meanwhile, though they are both shooting guards, Hield and Lavine are also capable of making plays for their teammates. However, the biggest thing that the Lakers could get from either young guards is their ability to score and efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc. Sharing the floor with an elite three-pointer like Hield and Lavine would make it easier for James and Davis to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team’s defense.