Lakers Rumors: DeMar DeRozan Sign-and-Trade for Kyle Kuzma Eyed by Spurs

Adam WellsJuly 29, 2021

San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

In their quest to add more ball-handlers to the roster, the Los Angeles Lakers might find a suitable trade partner in San Antonio. 

Per NBA reporter Marc Stein, the San Antonio Spurs are "believed to have interest" in acquiring Kyle Kuzma as part of a sign-and-trade that would involve sending DeMar DeRozan to Los Angeles.

The Lakers have been rumored to be involved with virtually every marquee player who will be available this summer. 

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reported last week the Lakers and LeBron James "have been on the hunt for a veteran point guard" with Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook mentioned as potential options. 

Unless the Lakers could shed significant salary in a trade, the odds of landing either Paul or Westbrook seem remote. 

Paul can become a free agent this season by opting out of his deal, with B/R's Eric Pincus reporting last month that the 11-time All-Star wants a multiyear contract "in the vicinity of $100 million."

Westbrook is owed $44.2 million in 2021-22 and has a $47.1 million player option for 2022-23. 

The Lakers already have $116.9 million in salary commitments next season with only seven players under contract.

Dennis Schroder's impending free agency is a major storyline in Los Angeles. He was very good during the regular season, averaging 15.4 points and 5.8 assists per game in 61 starts. The 27-year-old struggled in the postseason, with a 40 percent field-goal percentage and 2.8 assists per game in six starts vs. the Phoenix Suns. 

DeRozan has been a reliable scorer throughout his career. He's averaged at least 20 points per game in each of the past eight seasons. The four-time All-Star has turned into a much better facilitator recently, averaging 5.9 assists per game since the start of the 2017-18 season. 

Kuzma has been frequently mentioned as a potential trade candidate for years. The 26-year-old signed a three-year, $39 million extension in December that includes a player option for the 2023-24 season. He averaged 12.9 points per game and shot 36.1 percent from three-point range last season. 

The Lakers are looking to upgrade their roster after a first-round playoff exit. They could also stand to add more depth after James and Anthony Davis missed significant time in the second half of the season because of injuries.