NBA Rumors: LA Lakers 'Discussed' Trading Kyle Kuzma For Buddy Hield, Per Shams Charania

Buddy Hield trying to take the ball from Kyle Kuzma
Gettyimages | Ezra Shaw
Basketball

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the title contenders that are expected to be aggressive on the trade market this summer. Though injuries and fatigue were mostly blamed for their failed attempt to defend their throne last season, the Lakers may also need to improve their supporting cast around LeBron James and Anthony Davis to have a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title next year.

Despite their limited trade assets, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is expected to find a way to add quality players that would help James and Davis carry the team in the 2021-22 NBA season.

Lakers, Kings Engaged In Kyle Kuzma-Buddy Hield Trade

Buddy Hield making plays for the Kings
Gettyimages | Andy Lyons

One of the potential trade targets for the Lakers in the 2021 offseason is Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers "have discussed" the idea of trading Kyle Kuzma to the Kings in exchange for Hield.

“The Lakers and Sacramento Kings have discussed a deal centered around guard Buddy Hield, sources tell The Athletic,” Charania said, as quoted by NBC Sports. “Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma would be involved in a potential package, per sources. The Lakers have received interest from several teams regarding Kuzma, sources said.”

Has Kyle Kuzma Played His Final Season With The Lakers?

Kyle Kuzma complaining to the referee
Gettyimages | Sam Greenwood

It wouldn't be surprising if the Lakers decide to use Kuzma as a trade chip to acquire Hield. Since the duo of James and Davis was formed in Los Angeles, rumors were continuously swirling around Kuzma's future with the Lakers. When James and Davis arrived in Los Angeles, Kuzma was viewed as the Lakers' "third star."

Unfortunately, the young power forward failed to live up to expectations and was noticeably having a hard time making himself with alongside James and Davis on the court. With their goal to reclaim their throne next season, it might be really best for the Lakers to trade Kuzma for a player that would complement their two superstars on the floor.

Buddy Hield Eases Burden On LeBron James

Buddy Hield aiming to shoot the ball
Gettyimages | Stacy Revere

Hield would be an intriguing addition to the Lakers. Though he's yet to earn his first All-Star recognition, his potential arrival in Los Angeles would help them improve their performance on the offensive end of the floor and ease the burden on James' shoulders in terms of scoring and playmaking.

He would give the Lakers a very reliable third-scoring option behind James and Davis, as well as a decent playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter. Last season, he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Kyle Kuzma Reunites With Coach Luke Walton In Sacramento

Kyle Kuzma talking to Luke Walton
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

The rumored trade deal between the Lakers and the Kings may also be beneficial for Kuzma. After winning an NBA championship title with the Lakers, Kuzma should find a place where he could develop into an All-Star. As much as he wants to stay in Los Angeles, the Lakers are clearly not the team that would help him reach his full potential.

As of now, Kuzma would be better off joining a rebuilding team like the Kings where he could receive more playing time and a significant role on the offensive end of the floor. He won't have a hard time making himself with the Kings since he would be reuniting with Luke Walton, who was his coach with the Lakers for two seasons.