Bogdan Bogdanovic is the latest, and most important, name to swirl around in the Kyle Kuzma trade rumors. Marc Stein just reported that the Kings are interested in Kuzma, and they know they would have to include the third-year shooting guard in a deal. Bogdanovic is currently stuck on a mediocre Kings team that might not have the financial flexibility to re-sign him next year.
The holes in the Lakers’ top-heavy roster have been magnified in losses to the Clippers, Bucks, and Nuggets, and Kuzma has not helped. If the Lakers plan on winning a title this year, here are the players who could help them improve the most via a Kuzma trade.
Bogdanovic would be an excellent player for the Lakers because he fills multiple holes. As much as they need another deep threat, the Lakers also need another perimeter playmaker behind LeBron James. Bogdanovic does both. He’s a career 38% three-point shooter who’s knocking down 2.6 treys per game this year. Kuzma is currently hitting 1.6 threes on 34% shooting from deep.
As Rajon Rondo continues to lose his powers as a capable point guard, the Lakers also need some perimeter playmaking help. Bogdanovic is a skilled playmaker who’s averaged nearly four assists per game for his career. That’s an impressive number for a shooting guard who’s never been a primary ball-handler. He should be their No. 1 option.
At 14-21, the Timberwolves might be on the verge of a roster shakeup. The Lakers should entice Minnesota with a Kuzma-for-Covington deal. While he doesn’t have the playmaking abilities of Bogdanovic, Covington can shoot from deep, and he fills a different hole in the Lakers roster: defense.
The Lakers’ defense has been shockingly good this year, but their rim protection is the main hero. Los Angeles still needs a wing defender to throw at players like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Luka Doncic. While LeBron James has improved his defense this year, he’s no longer quick enough to keep up with the very best wings in the league. Two years ago, Covington made the NBA All-Defensive first team. His relatively cheap contract puts him in a play for a Kuzma trade.
The Lakers would still need to find a secondary playmaker with this move, but Morris has been lighting it up from three this year. He’s hitting 2.7 threes at a 47% clip, which is good enough for second in the league. Also known for his toughness, Morris could rough up some wing players and take some of the defensive pressure off LeBron James.
Iguodala could theoretically fill all three of the Lakers’ major weaknesses in one player. He’s a playmaking, defensive-minded wing player who can hit threes, especially in high-leverage moments. He’s likely not a trade target for the Lakers, as his $17 million contract is too much for the Lakers to absorb. They would have to pray that the Grizzlies buy him out and he chooses the Lakers over the Clippers.
Darren Collison is another crucial player they could add without giving up Kuzma. Collison just announced he’s ending his retirement and would like to join one of the teams in LA. A career 40% three-point shooter who averaged six assists per game last year, the 32-year-old would be a massive upgrade over Rondo. If the Lakers could add both of these players without losing Kuzma, Rob Pelinka could suddenly be in line for an Executive of the Year award.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:39 PM UTC