One of the most players most involved in NBA trade rumors thus far this offseason has been Los Angeles Lakers forward, Kyle Kuzma. Based on some reports, it sounds as if it is a matter of when, not if, Kuzma is traded away.
There have been rumblings that Kuzma and LeBron James do not get along, which would certainly mean the end of the road for Kuzma in the purple and gold. If there is actually a rift between the two, James is certainly not the one who will be traded out of town.
For a team looking to get back into the ranks of contender during the 2021-22 season after being eliminated from the postseason this year, Kuzma represents one of their only assets to trade away. But, his value is rather low right now.
Kuzma had a strong regular season, as he looked more comfortable coming off the bench and filled in admirably when James and Anthony Davis battled injuries. He averaged only 12.9 points per game but shot the ball better from the field overall and from the 3-point line.
Disappointingly, in the postseason, Kuzma was nowhere to be found. He scored only 6.3 points per game, making a putrid 29.2 percent of his shots from the field, 17.4 percent from the 3-point line and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe.
Despite the struggles, Kuzma is still confident he can develop into a high-scoring All-Star. A trade could make that happen, but there are some bad landing spots for him as well.
Here are some of the best, and worst, landing spots for Kyle Kuzma should the Los Angeles Lakers trade him this offseason.
Good Landing Spot: San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs would be a great landing spot for Kyle Kuzma. San Antonio is arguably the best developmental franchise in the league and if Kuzma is lucky enough to land here, his game would really take off.
From a need standpoint, the Spurs may have a huge hole to fill in their frontcourt with DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay hitting free agency.
Kuzma could slide into that starting forward role that DeRozan has been occupying for the Spurs. While he is not yet the playmaker that DeRozan has turned into, Kuzma would offer better rebounding and help make up for the loss of scoring.
While many people have labeled Kuzma as a poor defender, he has actually taken strides on that end of the court. Outside of Tom Thibodeau, there probably isn’t a better system than the one that Gregg Popovich runs with the Spurs to get the most of players defensively. Already showing improvements, Popovich could take Kuzma to the next level on that end of the court.
Kuzma would also fit on the timeline the Spurs are on, so his development would still be a priority while the team gets back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference.