Why Kuzma for Bogdan Makes Sense?
This is one of those trades both teams, the Lakers and Kings, and both players, Kyle Kuzma and Bogdan Bogdanovic, should want to happen
Every so often, a trade rumor arises that‘s’ a perfect solution for the teams involved as well as the players. The rumored trade between the Lakers and Kings involving Kyle Kuzma and Bogdan Bogdanovic is such an example.
Once you ignore the posturing by the two teams and two players, it’s easy to see that everybody involved would undoubtedly benefit from the trade and that there’s probably a good chance the trade could actually happen. So let’s take a closer look at the underlying realities and compelling reasons why both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings and both Kyle Kuzma and Bogdan Bogdanovic should be in favor of this trade happening.
Why the Los Angeles Lakers should want the trade to happen.
The Lakers were hoping Kyle Kuzma would be the third star to complement LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Unfortunately, Kuzma’s been plagued by injuries that limited his minutes and hasn’t lived up to those expectations. The Lakers have what is a three-year championship window with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and simply cannot afford to wait for the 24-year old third-year Kuzma to mature and develop. They need to win now.
While there’s some question as to who contacted whom first, there’s no question the 27-year old Bogdanovic at this point in time is the superior player. He’s a better 3-point shooter, shot creator, playmaker, and defender. His maturity, reliability, and versatility make him a better fit to complement the Lakers’ superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kuzma may have more long-term upside as a player but right now Bogdan is a better player.
Assuming the Lakers sign Collison to fill their point guard need, landing Bogdanovic should be a top priority. They will need to include $5.1 million in salary ballast and, if needed, a second round pick to close the deal
Why the Sacramento Kings should want the trade to happen.
The Kings’ problem is they’ll lose Bogdanovic for nothing unless they trade him. He won’t accept the $51 million extension they offered and, as Hield’s backup, the Kings aren’t going to match the offers he’ll get this summer. They’ve already given big paydays to starters Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes and reserves Cory Joseph and Dewayne Dedmon and they still have a big payday looming for their best player and team leader De’Aaron Fox.
That’s why it makes sense to trade Bogdanovic now and Kyle Kuzma is the kind of young asset with great upside that the Kings should be pursuing, a talented young forward who enjoyed success playing for Luke Walton. While Kuzma’s struggled to fit in on the Lakers, he could easily blossom into a legitimate star playing for the Kings, much like another former Lakers’ teammate Brandon Ingram has done for New Orleans Pelicans.
The Kings cannot afford to pay Bogdanovic starter money to come off the bench and they cannot afford to lose him for nothing in free agency this summer. Kuzma, filler, and a second round pick would be a win for them.
Why Kyle Kuzma should want the trade to happen.
Kyle Kuzma would not only thrive if traded to the Kings but I also think he’s more than ready to move on. He clearly knows his days on the Lakers are now numbered and his play shows it. His minutes and role have decreased. You could almost see the envy as he watched former teammate Brandon Ingram enjoy a breakout season after being traded to New Orleans for Anthony Davis. Kuzma looks like a last man standing who knows his fate.
Kuzma’s surprise decision not to sign with Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports, which would have sealed his future with the Lakers, was a first signal. By signing with Leon Rose, Kuzma pretty much acknowledged it was time to move on. He had a great relationship with Walton and should become a 20-point per game scorer and possible starter at power forward for the Kings. As a known commodity with great upside, Kyle’s a perfect return for Bogdan.
Kyle Kuzma has the potential to be a top-ten NBA scorer in the right situation, which the superstar Lakers no longer are. Kyle’s seen the writing on the wall and knows Sacramento could be his opportunity.
Why Bogdan Bogdanovic should want the trade to happen.
Bogdan Bogdanovic is going to be a restricted free agent this summer and should be in line to finally earn an NBA level starting salary, which is why he has not accepted the Sacramento King’s 4-year $51 million extension. Playing behind starter Buddy Hield, Bogdan will also be looking for a team where he will have the opportunity to be the starting shooting guard, play starter minutes, and hopefully compete to win an NBA championship.
That’s why Bogdan’s likely hoping the Lakers pull off a deal to trade for him. The opportunity to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the Lakers would be a dream come true for an elite shooter like Bogdan. Not only would he get an opportunity to win an NBA championship ring and play under the bright lights of LA but the Lakers would own his Bird rights and could pay him money the small market Kings never could.
Moving from the small market Sacramento Kings to the league’s storied Los Angeles Lakers is one of biggest breaks that a young NBA player could ever dream of. There’s a good chance that Bogdan is going to live that dream.
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