Lakers Were Right to Reject Kings' Kyle Kuzma Trade Offer

Ryan Phillips
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers / Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly rejected a trade offer from the Sacramento Kings that would have shipped Kyle Kuzma out of town. The Lakers were right to reject the deal.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported the Kings offered Nemanja Bjelica and a draft pick in exchange for Kuzma. That's simply should not be enough to land a 24-year-old forward with Kuzma's skills.

Bjelica is having a really nice season for the Kings. The problem is that he's 31 and playing on an awful team, which could be driving up those numbers. The 6-foot-10 forward is averaging career-highs in points (12.3), rebounds (6.4), assists (2.7) and minutes (28.2) per game. He's also notched career-bests in field goal percentage (48.6), 3-point percentage (43.4) and PER (16.80).

While those numbers should be tantalizing for a contender, giving up a young wing like Kuzma for a 31-year-old under contract for just one more season would be silly, even if the Lakers got a draft pick.

Yes, Kuzma has struggled this season with injuries and his fit on the floor with Anthony Davis and LeBron James, but there's no questioning his ability. Kuzma is averaging just 12.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game this season so far. But, when healthy in 2018-19, Kuzma averaged 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 33.1 minutes per game.

It's worth noting that January has been Kuzma's best month this season. He's averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds since the new year.

Given his age and ability, the Lakers need to secure a big haul if they're going to let go of Kuzma. O'Connor reported they wanted the Kings to give them Bogdan Bogdanovic and a draft pick for Kuzma and, frankly, that deal would make much more sense.

Kuzma may have stupid hair, but he's a talented player who should be part of the Lakers' core moving forward, unless they get a big offer for him.

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