The Lakers inquired about the 27-year-old, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
Lakers have "inquired" about trading for Kyle Kuzma, per @ChrisBHaynes
(via B/R live show) pic.twitter.com/RWPcDVG9Hv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 14, 2022
“Sources told me the Lakers did inquire about Kyle Kuzma,” said Haynes. “… Kyle Kuzma has a player option. He can decline that option and hit free agency, which I believe that will be the case. … From what I was told, Lakers reached out, inquired about Kyle Kuzma. The Washington Wizards really love Kyle Kuzma. They especially love the pairing with him with [Kristaps] Porzingis and Brad Beal. … When you talk about the general manager over there, who runs things over there, Tommy Sheppard, he has a track record of taking care of his players who perform well. So, the Wizards are not going to give Kyle Kuzma up for cheap.”
As many Lakers fans know, the team parted ways with Kuzma in the blockbuster deal for point guard Russell Westbrook during the 2021 offseason. The move for Westbrook was made in hopes that the former MVP would help the team make it back to the NBA Finals, but things didn’t work out as planned last season.
Kuzma has found a nice spot in Washington with the Wizards, as he is averaging 21.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game on 46.2 percent shooting from the field and 34.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc this season.
He’s set himself up for a nice payday in the near future. He has a $13 million player option for next season, but at this rate, he will likely decline that and enter free agency in the coming offseason.
A recent report stated that “various” teams are trying to trade for the former first-round pick, and it seems like the Lakers are one of those teams.
During his time in L.A., Kuzma recorded 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest, playing multiple different roles and eventually helping the franchise win a title in 2020 in the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble.
What makes this latest rumor more interesting is the fact that Kuzma supposedly wants out of Washington.
“He wants out,” an NBA source said, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. “He’s looking for over $20 million a season and in a big market [or with a contender].”
The Michigan native might have some interest in reuniting with the Lakers. He seems to still be close with some people within the organization, including superstar LeBron James.
It would certainly be interesting to see what type of package the Lakers would be willing to give up in order to acquire Kuzma. Los Angeles’ primary trade package is reportedly centered around Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and a first-round pick. It’s unclear whether or not the Wizards would be interested in acquiring any of those assets.
Only time will tell what ends up happening. For now, the Lakers are likely focused on matters on the court. The team’s next game will be on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.