Lakers’ shot at Davis may hinge on willingness to trade Kuzma

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma may be a sticking point in trade talks with the Pelicans.

As written about about earlier, the Los Angeles Lakers are making some progress in their talks with the New Orleans Pelicans centered on a possible trade for Anthony Davis.

Here are several updates from an LA Times article co-authored by Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner:

1. As I already posted, the Pelicans’ willingness to trade Davis to the Lakers may hinge on Kyle Kuzma. While the Lakers are open to dealing Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and the fourth overall draft pick, Kuzma has become a franchise favorite by ingratiating himslf “with the organization both on the court and off, and management does not want to trade the forward,” the LA Times reported.

2. The Lakers may have opportunity to keep the their fourth pick should they trade Kuzma. According to the LA Times, they are leaning strongly toward Darius Garland, a point guard from Vanderbilt. Like Davis and LeBron James, Garland is represented by Rich Paul.

3. The change in Pelicans management from former general manager Dell Demps to current chief of basketball operations David Griffin may benefit the Lakers in the latest round of talks. Demps refused to negotiate with former Lakers president Magic Johnson in good faith, and wouldn’t even speak with Lakers GM Rob Pelinka. Griffin is much more open to reasonable communication.

4. Regardless of where Davis lands next, he won’t sign an extension. Paul has strongly stated Davis will enter free agency next summer, when Davis’ contract expires. But the Lakers clearly are willing to mortgage the farm, believing that Davis would sign a long contract with them following the season.

5. If the Lakers and Pelicans do pull off a deal, and the fourth pick is involved, it’s quite possible the Pelicans use the pick to land another veteran player — as opposed to bringing in another draft pick. Or they could swap the pick to move down in the draft. Cleveland, Atlanta, Boston and San Antonio are teams with multiple first-rounders. But all of that would require a trade between the Pelicans and Lakers first.

1 Comment on "Lakers’ shot at Davis may hinge on willingness to trade Kuzma"

  1. You really think the lakers have an opportunity to keep the 4th pick if they trade Kuzma? I would think that would be a steal for the lakers then.Also, if the lakers do not involve kuzma, could the cavs be a third team and trade Kevin love for the 4th pick and send love to New Orleans?

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