Lakers Rumors: Anonymous Exec Says LA Needs to Trade Kyle Kuzma to Improve

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Denver. The Lakers won 120-116 in overtime. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have been reluctant to move Kyle Kuzma in a potential trade, but there is at least one executive in the NBA who thinks the 24-year-old could be moved this offseason to help their roster depth.

Per ESPN's Tim Bontemps, an anonymous executive said Kuzma is "the one piece (the Lakers) have to really use to get better" this summer. 

The Lakers seemed like they were at least open to dealing Kuzma prior to the Feb. 6 trade deadline. 

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Lakers and New York Knicks engaged in exploratory talks about Kuzma. 

Charania reported on Feb. 6 that the Lakers informed the Knicks they were no longer interested in dealing Kuzma as part of a trade for Marcus Morris. 

The Anthony Davis trade last summer sapped virtually all of the Lakers' young assets. They sent Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, the draft rights to De'Andre Hunter, two first-round picks, a first-round pick swap right to the New Orleans Pelicans and Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones and Moritz Wagner to the Washington Wizards. 

No one will argue that bringing in Davis was a bad move for the Lakers. They currently own the best record in the Western Conference (41-12) and needed a second superstar who fit next to LeBron James. 

Because of that deal, though, Los Angeles' roster around Davis and James is largely built around secondary role players (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley, Alex Caruso) and veteran players over the age of 30 (Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Danny Green, JaVale McGee). 

Kuzma, 24, is the one young player with upside on the Lakers roster. He has struggled at times to fit in with Davis as the primary power forward. The former Utah star is averaging career-lows in points (12.6), rebounds (4.4), assists (1.3) and field-goal percentage (43.7) in 24.7 minutes per game. 

A first-round pick in 2017, Kuzma has one more year remaining on his rookie contract before hitting restricted free agency in the summer of 2021.