The Deal gets a decent amount of email regarding the Los Angeles Lakers. Since we aren’t entertaining Bradley Beal deals any longer there’s been a shift in focus. To the Kuz!
In today’s scenario:
The Washington Wizards trade the No. 9 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and guard Jerome Robinson to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for the No. 28 overall pick and forward Kyle Kuzma.
Why do the Lakers do the deal?
The Lakers have seemingly been on the verge of trading forward Kyle Kuzma on and off since he first burst onto the scene out of the University of Utah. As a rookie Kuzma put up 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game in 77 games played, including 37 starts.
Two seasons later, even after taking a a less scoring dependent role to make room for new Lakers, he’s a career 19pt per game scorer per 36 minutes. Kuzma has plenty of fans around the NBA, which is good news for the Lakers.
In this scenario they are looking to reset the clock, find a high level contributor at 9 and finally follow through on dealing Kuzma. Jesse Buss, who oversees the Laker drafts, does a pretty good job of finding the right guys for them. He could do something noteworthy at #9. I think Devin Vassell would make a lot of sense for them. Snag a battle tested (at FSU) wing who comes in ready defensively.
A key point in dealing Kuzma is that he’s extension eligible. The Lakers aren’t planning on extending him unless they get a crazy discount that allows them to keep him on their terms. He’ll play this year for $3.5 million and has a restricted free agency qualifying offer of $5.2 million the following season.
The Lakers take back Jerome Robinson to make the salary match work. I have a feeling they’d recruit a 3rd team to take him so they don’t have to. Use a future 2nd to make that salary go away entirely.
Why do the Wizards do the deal?
The Wizards get a 25 year old athletic scoring forward who just earned a ring. Okay, so he wasn’t the main reason they won the title. He’s no Alex Caruso.
They’d be adding a young veteran weapon to a team light on upper level talent. His shooting is a concern. 33 percent from deep for his career. He’s not a league average shooter by percentage but above league average in attempts. That sounds pretty Kuzma.
His agents at CAA (Note: his agent was Leon Rose who is now head of the Knicks basketball operations) are likely trying to find him a landing spot that will extend him before the deadline. At least that’d be their first preference. Washington should not extend him before seeing him on the floor with Bradley Beal and John Wall. It’d be smart to canvas those two before making this Deal.
Do they plan to pay him AND Davis Bertans AND still find time for Rui Hachimura? The potential is there. He’s a quality, if divisive, player but not a good fit for what we expect the plan to be moving forward. Not sure DC feels like the right landing spot.
Barring an unforeseen shift, Kyle Kuzma will not be a Laker when play resumes. It may be more likely that they find a veteran to swap him for. Sacramento almost had him before the deadline. Detroit was interested with Derrick Rose supposedly coming back. Sounds like a topic for a 3-team Deal to see what Kuzma could bring back to DC if the Lakers included him for the #9 pick. For now, we keep him and enjoy the on court mess of it all.
Wizards would have #28 (Malachi Flynn), #37 (Xavier Tillman), the MLE (Justin Holiday) and the BAE (John Henson):
- John Wall - Ish Smith - Shabazz Napier (UFA)
- Bradley Beal - Troy Brown Jr. - Garrison Mathews (RFA)
- Kyle Kuzma - Isaac Bonga - Admiral Schofield
- Rui Hachimura - Davis Bertans (UFA)
- Thomas Bryant - __________ - Moritz Wagner - Anzejs Pasecniks (camp guarantee)
Trade 9 for Kuzma and 28?
This poll is closed
Yes, we need reinforcements
No, he’s too similar to what we already have.
Want to request a trade target or send a challenge? Email me at Jheiser3 at gmail.com and include your Bullets Forever screen name.