NBA Rumors: LA Lakers Should ‘Test The Market’ For Kyle Kuzma, Per ‘Bleacher Report’

Since last season, rumors have been swirling around Kyle Kuzma and his future with the Los Angeles Lakers. With his failure to live up to expectations as the team’s third star behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, most people believe that the Lakers are better off using Kuzma as a trade chip to further upgrade their roster. Though he’s starting to look comfortable with his role coming off the bench in Los Angeles, the young power forward still continues to be mentioned in various trade speculations.

In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report created a list of players that every NBA team should shop at the 2021 trade deadline. For the Purple and Gold, it’s Kuzma. Though he has played a major role in the team’s early success in the 2020-21 NBA season, Swartz believes that the Lakers should “test the market” for the former No. 27 overall pick.

“The Lakers won’t, and shouldn’t, be looking to make a blockbuster trade at the deadline, with their core all playing important roles. The only player remotely worth shopping is Kuzma, as the 25-year-old is now under a reasonable three-year, $39 million extension (including the player option) that kicks in next season. He’s one of the few attractive trade pieces left on L.A.’s roster, even if the Lakers need him as a scorer and floor-spacer off the bench.”

Kuzma may not be an All-Star, but once he becomes officially available on the trading block, he’s still expected to receive a strong interest on the market, especially from rebuilding teams that are in dire need of a frontcourt boost and want to further solidify their young core. However, if potential suitors couldn’t offer a package that looks appealing for the Lakers, Swartz thinks that they should keep Kuzma and search for other ways to upgrade their roster.

“Los Angeles has few holes on the roster and should probably hang on to Kuzma for now and comb through the buyout market after the deadline instead.”

Aside from Kuzma, Swartz also mentioned veteran center Marc Gasol as one of the players that the Lakers should consider shopping before the 2021 trade deadline. The Purple and Gold signed Gasol in the 2020 free agency with the hope that he could give them a major upgrade over JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard at the center position. Unfortunately, though he somehow managed to impress with his passing skills and floor-spacing ability, Gasol has already shown a massive decline in his performance on both ends of the floor.

Compared to Kuzma, finding a trade partner for Gasol would be more difficult for the Lakers. If they want to acquire a quality player in return, they may need to include a young player or a future draft asset in the potential deal involving the Spanish big man.

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