Humiliating trade involving Kyle Kuzma denied to Lakers
If some NBA players are enjoying a peaceful vacation right now, those of Kyle Kuzma must be well agitated. At the heart of many trade rumors and as the Lakers seek to get rid of it, the strong-winger has just seen a rather humiliating refused trade revealed …
It’s not even an open secret anymore, it’s official: the Lakers are trying by all means to get rid of Kyle Kuzma. On an archi-ejection seat, the last survivor of the famous « young core » of the Magic Johnson era should leave California in a trade during the summer. But obviously, it will not be to take the direction of Indiana.
Mike Scotto of HoopsHype indeed reports that negotiations have taken place between the Lakers and the Pacers recently. A deal was even offered, but, despite the very modest package requested in return, Indy refused.
“Lakers have explored trying to move up in the draft, including discussing Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick with the Pacers for the 13th pick and salary filler, but were turned down.” 😳
(via @MikeAScotto) pic.twitter.com/hGvEF7pdIT
– Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 27, 2021
The Lakers explored the path to go up to the Draft, discussing in particular sending Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick to the Pacers against the 13th pick and a salary-filler (an average player with low equivalent salary, editor’s note). But Indiana refused 😳
Even in exchange for a bottom lottery pick and a salary-filler, the Pacers are not interested in Kyle Kuzma. A rather humiliating retock for poor Kuz, who has spent the last few weeks explaining that he was waiting for the right opportunity to finally shine and splash the league with all his talent. For now, we can not say that his rating sets the league ablaze.
A few days ago, Adrian Wojnarowski had clearly announced that Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were offered to « almost all teams » by the Lakers, but the two men are still well and truly in the purple and gold roster. In the case of Kuz, negotiations took place with the Kings around Buddy Hield, but they did not succeed at this stage.
After the last two middle seasons, Kyle Kuzma seems to have cooled a lot of franchises in the league. Yet he remains convinced that he can turn 20 or 25 points per game and be the first option of a team. The strong-winger will have, let us hope, the opportunity to prove it… but not in Los Angeles, since his departure is now hardly the shadow of a doubt.
The Lakers still can’t get rid of Kyle Kuzma, even in small deals on paper. A headache for Rob Pelinka, who must find a solution to trade Kuz, and recover minimal interesting assets in return.