Kyle Kuzma for Buddy Hield? Lakers and Kings Trade
The Los Angeles Lakers look to take the forefront of free agency for the third consecutive summer. Stories have circulated that they are pursuing various guards. On July 25th, Bleacher Report (per Shams Charania) tweeted that the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings have discussed a trade involving Kyle Kuzma and Buddy Hield.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 25, 2021
Kuzma has been a part of trade rumors recently and Hield has a rocky relationship with the Kings. How would this trade work out if it were to go down?
Kyle Kuzma for Buddy Hield? Lakers and Kings Discuss Trade
Fresh Start for Kuzma and Hield
Kuzma’s erratic play has been heavily criticized for months by both the media and fans. After a promising start to his career, he finds himself in player purgatory. He has not developed much and has a questionable basketball IQ. Also, the presence of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dennis Schroder, and Montrezl Harrell made it difficult for him to establish consistency. Kuzma would fare better with the Kings where he will get more opportunities to showcase his skills as he did three to four seasons ago when it looked like he was a rising star.
Hield had flashes of brilliance in Sacramento. 2018-19 was the apex of his Kings’ stint. He crossed the 20 points per game threshold. However, his stats have decreased over the following two seasons. This past season, he shot 40.8 percent overall, which is the lowest of his career. Also, he averaged nearly three points less from the 2019-20 season. Hield also was benched at one point, but his three-point prowess will shine with the Lakers.
The Lakers Get What They Need
One of the Lakers’ flaws is three-point shooting. A lot of their players are streaky shooters at best. They need more consistency from the three-point line. Hield will provide that. He averages 40.6 percent from the three for his career. Hield is also a career 86 percent free-throw shooter. Paired with the passing abilities of James and Davis, Heild will have an abundance of three-point opportunities. Also, the Lakers will have another player who is capable of scoring 20 points on his own.
Hield has already established his footing in the NBA. Kuzma is still finding himself as a player. The Kings are viewed as one of the worst franchises in the NBA. Their head coach, Luke Walton, is on the hot seat. He has failed to take the Kings to the playoffs after nearly making it under former head coach David Joerger a few years ago. Kuzma is the type of player who needs to touch the ball to get better. He needs plays ran for him. The Kings may not be the best place for Kuzma to return to form. On the other hand, he will be free to be himself with them. They have no expectations and he has been outcasted by Lakers’ fans. Kuzma could develop into a Most Improved Player of the Year candidate.
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