The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t able to escape the first round of the NBA playoffs this season, being eliminated in six games by the Phoenix Suns, who are up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers were unable to overcome late-season injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, leading to the first time in LeBron James’ career that he didn’t advance beyond the first round of the playoffs. With Los Angeles having an early start to the offseason, they’ll need to make decisions on the roster, including what they want to do with Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma inked a three-year, $39 million extension with the Lakers before this season, seemingly coinciding his contract with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, there have been NBA trade rumors floating around that Los Angeles could consider moving Kuzma this offseason.
If the Lakers want to conduct a trade for any players this summer, they don’t have many assets, making Kuzma a likely candidate to be dealt elsewhere. The Kings already have held discussions with the Lakers on a deal centered around him, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
One team that has been reported to have interest in Kuzma is the Sacramento Kings. In the coming months, Sacramento and Los Angeles could work together to manufacture a deal that helps both sides.
If the Kings are plotting a trade for Kuzma this offseason, here are a few trade packages that they could offer the Lakers to acquire the former first-round pick.
Sacramento Kings Receive: F Kyle Kuzma
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: F Harrison Barnes
There’s a chance that both sides would want to keep it simple in a trade involving Kuzma. Los Angeles doesn’t have much draft capital to offer, but Sacramento has a few players that could be of interest to the Lakers. The first offer that comes to mind is a simple swap of Kuzma for Harrison Barnes.
The Kings don’t have much of a plan right now, as De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are their building blocks for the future. With that in mind, a player like Barnes could be made available this offseason, and contending teams could express interest in his services.