The LA Lakers were without LeBron again on Wednesday when the Detroit Pistons came to Staple Center. The Lakers were able to win behind the performance of Kyle Kuzma, who dropped 41 in the 113-110 victory.
The win was the second in a row for the Lakers, who are finally finding some sort of positive form for the first time after leader LeBron went down with a groin injury. Kuzma has been the man that the Lakers leaned on for point production last year, a season when the Lakers didn’t have LeBron. Kuzma averaged 16.1 points a game last year in his rookie year, and has his PPG up to 18.8 this season. With his consistent improvement and production, he is becoming the standout prospect in a Laker roster that is looking to make trades.
Anthony Davis has been a clear trade target for the Lakers, but the hangup seems to be on agreeing which players from the Lakers will go the other way. Many rumors include names like Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Jost Hart. But in reality, no team wants these players. Lonzo Ball is averaging less points and assists in his second year in the league. He has scored zero points twice this season, and hasn’t improved his poor shooting from a year ago. Lonzo has failed to make a huge impact, and his trade value goes on to prove this. Josh Hart is in a similar position, still averaging single digits in his second year in the league. Truth is, these players are not that valuable in today’s trade market, and Kuzma is the only young one on that LA roster that is worth trading for.
If the Lakers want to make the bigtime move, they have to move Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma is the only player out the LA youth core that would even remotely interest New Orleans. Kuzma is giving LA 18.8 a game on an average of 15 shots a game. These are high efficiency numbers that could be added to any team. Kuzma has proven that he can average a higher volume of scoring as well, averaging 20.4 points in the last 10 games (8 of those without LeBron).
If LA wants to make moves for Anthony Davis before the deadline in a few short weeks, expect Kuzma to be a part of the deal.