Lakers Trade Rumors: Latest on Kyle Kuzma, Hornets' Pursuit of Bogdan Bogdanovic

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 25: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 25, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly weighing some options ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, including gauging the market for forward Kyle Kuzma.

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Lakers have looked into what they could potentially land in exchange for Kuzma with a focus on ball handlers. Lowe also brought up the possibility of acquiring a player with a salary in the range of $12 million to use in another trade, potentially for Memphis Grizzlies veteran wing Andre Iguodala.

Additionally, Lowe reported that the Lakers and Charlotte Hornets are two of the teams that have expressed interest in Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic.

When the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans during the offseason, the expectation was that L.A. would have its own "Big Three" comprised of LeBron James, Davis and Kuzma.

James and Davis have more than held up their end of the bargain, but Kuzma hasn't fit with them as well as hoped. In fact, the third-year man is in the midst of his worst season statistically with averages of 13.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, which are all career lows.

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Kuzma is also shooting a career-worst 43.2 percent from the field, although his three-point shooting is up a bit from 30.3 percent last season to 33.3 percent this year.

Additionally, Kuzma has missed some time due to injury, and out of the 39 games he has appeared in this season, he has made just six starts and is averaging a career-low 24.9 minutes per contest.

Kuzma is still third on the team in scoring, but Danny Green has been a more efficient three-point shooter, and guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Avery Bradley have been more efficient players overall.

After averaging 18.7 points per game last season, Kuzma could still have some value to other teams. He is signed through next season before becoming a restricted free agent, and if the Lakers can get an asset to use as part of another trade, it may be worth moving on since he doesn't appear to be a great fit.

The Lakers need either a ball handler or a quality shooter, and Bogdanovic undoubtedly qualifies as the latter.

Bogdanovic is averaging a career-high 14.4 points per game this season to go along with 3.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds. He is also connecting on 43.3 percent of his attempts from the field and 37.0 percent of his tries from beyond the arc. The 27-year-old's 2.6 treys made per game are a career-best mark as well.

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The Serbian sharpshooter will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so perhaps the Kings would have interest in a package of Kuzma and another asset. After all, Kings head coach Luke Walton was the Lakers' head coach during Kuzma's first two NBA seasons.

Lowe theorized that the Kings could get a first-round pick for Bogdanovic, but the Lakers can't trade their 2020 first-round pick since they already dealt their 2021 first-rounder to New Orleans as part of the Davis trade.

Unless the Kings really like Kuzma or the Lakers can get something for Kuzma from another team that appeals to Sacramento, landing Bogdanovic and adding another weapon to a team that ranks first in the West at 37-11 will be tough.

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