Report: Lakers Packaging Deal for Minnesota’s Robert Covington - Lakers Daily

Report: Lakers Packaging Deal for Minnesota’s Robert Covington

Robert Covington Minnesota Timberwolves Brace Hemmelgarn / USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA trade deadline a month away, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly pursuing a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, with Kyle Kuzma one of the key pieces of the proposed deal.

Bobby Marks of ESPN explained what the Lakers were looking for, coupled with the realities of the current market.

“Ideally, the Lakers would find a point guard with enough shooting ability to play off the ball and enough size to switch screens,” Marks said. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t describe many players, and their trade value is probably more than the Lakers have to offer.

“Failing that, I think I’d look for another wing who’s a bit more reliable than Caldwell-Pope and will let James run the point down the stretch. Minnesota’s Robert Covington is probably the archetypal example, and his $11.3 million salary fits neatly into what the Lakers can take back.”

Marks then offered his thoughts on the potential deal, though it’s possible that it might not be enough to compel the Timberwolves to make the trade.

“The Lakers should put Covington as Option A when looking at trade targets. Is a package of Kuzma, [DeMarcus] Cousins and [Quinn] Cook enough to entice the Timberwolves? Covington is under contract through 2021-22 at team-friendly salaries of $11.3 million, $12.1 million and $13 million.

“My sense from talking to teams is that Minnesota could create a bidding war leading up to the deadline. I believe what L.A. has to offer would fall short of the demands from the Timberwolves (or for a player such as Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Kings). That’s unless they can entice a third team to take Kuzma, with the Wolves receiving something of more value to them, perhaps a starting point guard. Gersson Rosas, the new head of basketball operations in Minnesota, is using this season to audit his roster and can wait until the offseason to address its needs.”

In 34 games for the Timberwolves this season, Covington is averaging 12.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He was acquired by them in November 2018 from Philadelphia as part of the Jimmy Butler deal.

Kuzma has dealt with injuries both before and during the season, playing in just 27 games this season. He’s averaging 11.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in a reserve capacity.

Cook has only seen an average of 13.0 minutes per game in his 22 appearances this season and is averaging 4.6 points, 1.4 assists and 1.1 rebounds per contest.

Cousins was expected to be a central part of the Lakers lineup when the team signed him during the summer. However, an ACL injury in August could end up sidelining him for the entire year.

While the Lakers continue to look at their options, they take their 29-7 record into Tuesday night’s home game against the New York Knicks.