According to a recent report, the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in trading Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green to the San Antonio Spurs for four-time All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan.
In its latest 2020 NBA Draft preview, The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor wrote that the Spurs are “up to something,” as they are reportedly looking to move some of their core players, including DeRozan, big man LaMarcus Aldridge, and veteran point guard Patty Mills. Citing league sources, O’Connor wrote that he’s heard of the potential deal that would send DeRozan to Los Angeles, as well as the Golden State Warriors’ apparent interest in Aldridge, though he added that “any separate trade” could determine which of these moves San Antonio would pull the trigger on during the offseason.
Commenting on the rumors, Bleacher Report wrote that Kuzma and Green were notably inconsistent during this year’s playoffs, especially when it came to their outside shooting, though that didn’t prevent the Lakers from winning their 17th championship against the Miami Heat in last month’s NBA Finals. The outlet predicted that if Anthony Davis re-signs with the Lakers as expected and the rumored transaction pushes forward, DeRozan could team up with him and LeBron James as a “far more reliable” third offensive option as they hope for a second consecutive title.
As for the Spurs, the publication noted that Kuzma and Green would likely turn out to be “complementary” players in the event the hypothetical trade becomes a reality, even if Aldridge also ends up playing elsewhere. San Antonio currently has several players — including guards Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, and Derrick White and forward Keldon Johnson — who could thrive once given additional playing time. However, Bleacher Report speculated that the team would likely seek some additional compensation in the form of draft picks if it chooses to deal away its veteran stars.
According to Basketball-Reference, DeRozan averaged 22.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.6 assists and shot 53.1 percent from the field for the Spurs in the 2019-20 season. He has, however, drawn his share of criticism for his lack of an outside shot, as he converted on just nine out of 35 attempts from three-point range in the recently concluded campaign. He is also entering the final year of his contract in 2020-21 — a player option that will pay him $27.7 million if he opts in.
This isn’t the first time that the Lakers have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for DeRozan. In October, CBS Sports‘ Sam Quinn suggested that the team could be among the most “reasonable options” for the 31-year-old, also proposing a deal that would allow Los Angeles to acquire him for Green, JaVale McGee, and Avery Bradley.