NBA Rumors: Spurs Could Acquire Kyle Kuzma For Patty Mills & First-Round Pick In New Trade Idea

According to a newly proposed trade idea, the San Antonio Spurs could potentially improve their chances of returning to the postseason after missing last year’s playoffs by making a move for Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma.

On Tuesday, NBA Analysis Network wrote that Kuzma has been a rumored component in many a rumored or hypothetical deal over the past few years but has remained with the Lakers as the only young core player who wasn’t sent to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade in the summer of 2019. Although he signed a contract extension during the offseason, the outlet speculated that there are teams that might still be interested in acquiring him, including the Spurs.

As suggested by the publication, San Antonio could acquire Kuzma for a package featuring veteran guard Patty Mills and a 2021 first-round draft pick. As of now, the Spurs are tied for ninth place in the Western Conference, but with an 11-10 record, there seems to be a “feeling” that the team could return to the postseason despite their ostensible status as a rebuilding club. Furthermore, the Spurs have a “balanced” lineup with seven players scoring in double digits per game, and Kuzma could potentially make an immediate contribution and fit in with head coach Gregg Popovich’s offensive schemes.

“Kuzma has struggled with some inconsistencies over the course of his career with the Lakers but that could change with a franchise like the Spurs. If they deal [their] veteran players, it would be interesting to see what roster is put together in San Antonio.”

Per Basketball-Reference, Kuzma is averaging a career-low 9.9 points for the Lakers, along with 5.7 rebounds and one assist per game. He is also shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from three-point range, the latter of which is his best clip from beyond the arc in his four NBA seasons.

As for the Lakers, NBA Analysis Network wrote that the defending champions could benefit from the move because Mills would, in theory, address their need for a backup point guard. At the moment, offseason acquisition Dennis Schroder is performing well, with an average of 13.6 points over the first 22 games of the 2020-21 campaign. However, Los Angeles arguably doesn’t have anyone else who could fill in for him and provide solid playmaking off the bench.

Although Mills doesn’t fit the bill as another star player who could start alongside LeBron James and Davis, he was described as a “capable” three-point shooter who could play a meaningful role for the Lakers as Schroder’s backup. According to Basketball-Reference, the Australian point guard is averaging 14.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 21 games for the Spurs as their top scorer off the bench.

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