The Los Angeles Lakers‘ front office appears to be very active before tonight’s NBA Draft.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers have held talks with the Sacramento Kings on a potential trade that would involve Kyle Kuzma and Buddy Hield. However, the Kings aren’t the only team interested in Kuzma.
Stein is reporting that San Antonio has interest in Kuzma in a potential sign-and-trade involving All-Star swingman DeMar DeRozan. This isn’t the first or last time we’ll see DeRozan’s name linked to Los Angeles.
Both players would give the Lakers’ offense a much-needed boost next season, but it seems like fans have a preference.
“DeRozan to LA, make it happen please,” one Lakers fan tweeted.
DeRozan to LA, make it happen please https://t.co/42p4tvhkw8
— Libaan Osman (@libaanstar1) July 29, 2021
For the past few weeks, NBA fans have been questioning how the Lakers can afford DeRozan. Putting together a trade package that includes Kuzma’s contract would solve that issue.
This could make a lot of sense as a way to get DeMar outside of the MLE https://t.co/CelSnlNH8Q
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 29, 2021
Acquiring an expensive player like DeRozan would limit how much money the Lakers spend this offseason, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Whichever move Los Angeles makes will tell us just how active it wants to be in free agency.
“Lakers may prefer a hard cap, because it limits their spending – but ‘should’ make the decision on basketball merits,” Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report said.
Buddy = no hard cap
DDR = hard cap
Lakers may prefer a hard cap, because it limits their spending – but “should” make the decision on basketball merits (subjective as well) https://t.co/KecgDLPFv2
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 29, 2021
Los Angeles had a disappointing 2020-21 season due to injuries, as both Anthony Davis and LeBron James missed significant time.
A blockbuster trade with the Kings or Spurs, however, would most likely make the Lakers the favorites to win next year’s NBA Finals.