Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2020

Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and More

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    While it feels strange to be discussing the NBA offseason in November, that's exactly where we are. The trade window has opened, the 2020 NBA draft is just over a day away, and free agency is scheduled to kick off Friday evening.

    Naturally, the rumor mill is beginning to churn, and this is true even for the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

    While the Lakers managed to survive the bubble and bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy, they're not going to field the same squad as they did this past season. Changes are coming in the next several days. Here, we'll examine the latest buzz on what those changes might be.

Anthony Davis Doesn't Have a Team

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    While LeBron James was awarded Finals MVP, 2019 offseason acquisition Anthony Davis was equally vital to L.A.'s title run, if not more so. While the Lakers are happy to have the title he helped deliver, they would naturally love to have Davis back for a couple of more runs.

    Therefore, the Lakers may have been taken aback when Davis insisted that he isn't currently a member of the organization.

    "I don't have a team, Chris," Davis told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes on Monday.

    Davis has declined his player option for the 2020-21 season and will indeed become a free agent at 6 p.m. ET on Friday. However, it feels likely that Davis simply posturing for the best deal he can get from Los Angeles. Most expect him to re-sign with the Lakers.

    Obviously, Davis will be in line for some variation of a max deal, but according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, L.A. will present several options.

    "The Lakers, sources said, will present several options to Davis and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, in order to work with the superstar on the deal that makes him feel the most comfortable being part of the franchise moving forward," McMenamin wrote.

    For now, though, Davis doesn't have a team, and there will remain the possibility of another team swooping in and signing him until the Lakers get a deal done.

Lakers Nearly Traded Kyle Kuzma

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Over the weekend, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Los Angeles and the Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed in principle to a deal that would send Danny Green and the 28th pick in the draft to OKC in exchange for point guard Dennis Schroder. 

    However, it appears that Schroder wasn't L.A.s first trade target. According to Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus, the Lakers were interested in acquiring Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans and that Kyle Kuzma was on the table.

    "From what I understand, there was interest in Jrue Holiday on the Lakers' side ahead of Dennis Schröder with a similar package, but with Kuzma in it as well," Pincus said on the Locked on Lakers podcast.

    While Kuzma was a valuable bench player for the Lakers during their run—he averaged 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds—this isn't the first time he has been mentioned as a potential trade chip and probably won't be the last.

    For now, though, Kuzma is part of a squad that now includes Schroder.

Lakers Interested in Wesley Matthews

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Like Davis, Milwaukee Bucks standout Wesley Matthews has decided to decline his player option and enter free agency. He appears to be one of L.A.'s top targets in free agency. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, L.A. is eyeing Matthews as a replacement for the now-departed Green.

    While Green was merely a role-player, he was a valuable three-and-D piece of the championship puzzle. Presumably, Matthews would fill a similar role if acquired.

    The 34-year-old shot 36.4 percent from beyond the arc on 4.4 attempts per game this past season.

    Of course, the Lakers will have competition for Matthews' services, and the Bucks could be at the top of the list. According to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, Milwaukee was expected to make retaining Matthews "a priority" before the team reportedly acquired Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

    The Lakers could have a bit of an edge in the recruiting process as defending champions, though it's not as if Milwaukee is a bad team. There could be a battle for Matthews starting Friday.


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