The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be among the most active teams this offseason after getting bounced from the playoffs in the first round this summer. With the NBA Draft later this week, the franchise has been furiously scanning for potential options.
According a new report, the Lakers have even offered up one of their core players in a recent deal. Nevertheless, they were denied.
Per Mike Scotto of Hoops Hype, the Lakers offered the Indiana Pacers 26-year-old Kyle Kuzma and the No. 22 pick in this year’s draft in exchange for the No. 13 pick and an undesignated player that would serve as a “salary filler.” Another report from J. Michael of the Indy Star indicated that the unnamed individual may have been veteran T.J. Warren.
Either way, the Pacers reportedly turned down the proposed trade.
The report provides further evidence that the Lakers are doing their best to move off of Kuzma headed into a new league year. However, it also shows that Los Angeles may have eyes on one of the incoming rookies in this year’s deep draft class. Moving up nine spots and into the lottery would be no small feat and clearly the Pacers were wary of the Lakers intentions. As a result, the offer has reportedly come and gone, sending the 2020 NBA champs back to the drawing board.
The Indiana Pacers turned down a deal from the Lakers that would’ve sent Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick to Indiana for pick No. 13 and a salary filler, per @MikeAScotto
(Via https://t.co/0R7PPb5lyZ) pic.twitter.com/DHjRaihmz2
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 27, 2021
This is accurate. TJ Warren is healthy so they declined Kuz. Lakers have been hustling to jump into the lottery to get ahead of the Wizards https://t.co/ozto9dFRAZ
— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) July 27, 2021
The Lakers will no doubt remain persistent over the coming days ahead of the NBA Draft. A report earlier this week from ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that the franchise has been actively dangling Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in trade offers, with the hope of landing a third contributor to pair alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Kuzma remains an intriguing piece of the puzzle, considering the Lakers just signed a three-year extension with the team that kicks in this upcoming season. The deal will pay the 26-year-old forward an average of $13 million a year, but after an underwhelming 2020-21 campaign, LA seems ready to part ways with the former first-round pick.
Kuzma took on a backseat role for the Lakers again this past season, playing in just 28.7 minutes per game. He averaged a lackluster 12.9 points per game, while shooting an admirable 36.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Regardless of his subpar performance last season, Kuzma may be the exact piece the Lakers need to execute a deal. The 6-10 wing has a unique combination of size and skill that will make him attractive to other teams.
If the Lakers want to move up in the draft they’ll have to do so quickly. As of right now, the team will find itself on the clock come Thursday with the No. 22 overall pick.
The post Report: Pacers Declined Notable Trade From The Lakers appeared first on The Spun.
Leave a Reply