Talks between the Lakers and Pelicans are heating up as more and more information comes to the forefront about negotiations for superstar Anthony Davis. With the Celtics reportedly still heavily in the mix, the Lakers are pushing to secure a deal and have something in place before July 1st, when the Celtics can formally engage in trade talks (now that Kyrie Irving has officially announced he plans to decline his player option).
Anthony Davis Lakers Trade Could Come Down to Kyle Kuzma [Report]
Recently named to the USA Basketball Training Camp roster, it seems that Kyle Kuzma’s stock couldn’t be higher around the NBA. Widely acknowledged as one of the most promising young players in the league, Kuzma profiles to be the perfect modern-NBA small-ball power forward. Kuzma saw a tremendous increase in production playing alongside LeBron James last season and it seems the Lakers would ideally like to keep him around. On an extremely team-friendly rookie scale deal and pouring in nearly 20 points per game in just his second season, Kuzma is one of the more appealing young assets across the NBA.
It makes sense why the Pelicans would value Kuzma so highly as well. In addition to being a cheap and proven asset, he provides a level of shooting that presumed first overall pick Zion Williamson doesn’t possess. The Pelicans would ideally like to have someone in the frontcourt with Zion capable of clearing out and giving the otherworldly athlete room to pick up speed and attack the rim with force. While Kuzma’s three-point percentage dipped last season, he battled some injuries and a fully healthy season from Kuzma likely means a bump back up in his shooting splits.
As a result, talks are hitting getting complicated around Kuzma as he is clearly a player that both franchises highly value moving forward. The Pelicans don’t seem to be thrilled with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram and it seems that Kuzma would be the player they see future “All-Star potential” in.
Boston Celtics Re-Enter Trade Negotiations
While widely assumed the Celtics would dip out on trade talks involving Davis should Kyrie Irving leave town, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Boston is still a full-go in the hunt for Anthony Davis. While unable to make an official deal until free agency starts (as Kyrie Irving needs to opt out of his supermax deal), the Celtics have the ability to get a verbal agreement set in place to execute once the clock hits July 1st.
Source: New feed