After a failed title-defending season in 2020-21, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly looking to make some moves this offseason.
According to NBA insider Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Lakers continue to “gauge rival teams’ interest” in fifth-year pro Kyle Kuzma and are further exploring sign-and-trade options for veteran point guard Dennis Schroder, who has a “higher trade value” around league circles.
Lakers continue to “gauge rival teams’ interest” in Kuz, per B/R’s @JakeLFischer
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 14, 2021
Once considered a rising star in the league, Kuzma has slowly declined since he was drafted by the Lakers with the No. 27 overall pick in 2017. After averaging 17.4 points per game through his first two NBA seasons, the struggling forward’s numbers have dropped to just 12.8 ppg over the last two years. Clearly struggling to fit in and produce on a LeBron James and Anthony Davis-led squad, it seems like it may be time for the Lakers to let Kuz go and add a more effective wing scorer.
On the complete other end of the spectrum, Los Angeles clearly hoped to hang on to Schroder long term. Earlier this year, the Lakers offered their first-year point guard a four-year, $84 million deal, which he famously denied as he reportedly hoped for a $100-120 million contract, per NBC Sports.
Schroder is now an unrestricted free agent, meaning the Lakers’ only chance to get value out of their point guard is to explore a sign-and-trade deal. As a talented but dispensable piece, the ninth-year PG is clearly holds the franchises’ best trade value this offseason.
With LeBron and AD both locked in with the Lakers for the next few seasons, the LA front office will look to build yet another championship roster around these two centerpieces.