Only weeks after successfully winning the 2020 NBA championship title, Los Angeles Lakers power forward Kyle Kuzma continues to be involved in various trade speculations. With his failure to live up to expectations last season, there are expectations that the Lakers will use Kuzma as a trade chip to improve their roster this offseason. One of the dream targets for the Lakers in a potential deal involving Kuzma is All-Star shooting guard CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers.
In the proposed trade scenario by Eddie Bitar of Fadeaway World, the Lakers would send a package that includes Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley, and Quinn Cook to the Trail Blazers for McCollum. Before pushing through with the trade, they would first need to convince Caldwell-Pope to agree to a sign-and-trade deal.
The suggested deal would undeniably be a no-brainer for the Lakers. Though it would cost some important members of their rotation, it would enable them to form their own “Big Three” next year. Bitar believes that pairing McCollum with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would put the Purple and Gold “ahead of the pack” in the 2020-21 NBA season.
“The Lakers obviously have Anthony Davis and LeBron James on offense, but McCollum adds a third piece that puts the Lakers ahead of the pack for sure. C.J. will have more success with the Lakers than ever before in his career, which could benefit the Los Angeles franchise tremendously. McCollum and Lillard led the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals 2 years ago, so clearly the former has All-Star talent. McCollum will benefit greatly by playing with the best passer in the game in LeBron James and also the best big man in the game in Anthony Davis.”
McCollum wouldn’t have a hard time making fitting in with James and Davis in Los Angeles. With the years he spent alongside Damian Lillard in Portland, he has learned how to excel in an off-ball capacity, making him the ideal third star for the Lakers next season. McCollum may not have shown any indication that he’s unhappy in Portland, but at this point in his career, he would undeniably be better off playing for a legitimate title contender than being stuck on a mediocre team like the Trail Blazers.
Unfortunately, acquiring McCollum is just a pipe dream for the Purple and Gold. Even if the Trail Blazers decide to make McCollum available on the trading block this fall, it remains a big question if the package centered on Kuzma would be enough to convince them to send the All-Star shooting guard to Los Angeles.