The Los Angeles Lakers sit atop the Western Conference standings with a 30-7 record and have the second best league record behind the Milwaukee Bucks (32-6). But that doesn’t mean that the Lakers aren’t looking to improve their current standings and chances in what seems like a near certainty by enhancing their roster for the playoffs.
The Lakers last made a playoff appearance in 2013 when they finished with a 45-37 record for the seventh seed in the playoffs and were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in four games in the first round.
While retired NBA veteran point guard Darren Collison mulls over the decision to make a return to the league by hopping on the Lakers’ cruise liner, the organization and Los Angeles’ general manager Rob Pelinka are actively trying to find suitors for forward Kyle Kuzma.
The third-year Flint, Michigan native and former Utah Ute has been linked with a direct trade-swap with Sacramento Kings forward Bogdan Bogdanovic.
In a year that the Lakers have seen immense growth from the previous years, Kuzma, who was figured to be a staple in the rotation, is averaging 12 points and a meager 3.6 rebounds per game this season. Bogdanovic, on the other hand, is averaging 14.5 points and 3.6 assists per game.
Although, Bogdanovic trails Kuzma in rebounds per game (3), he makes up for it with his shooting ability averaging 42.6% from the field and 38.3% from 3-point range.
New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris and Washington Wizards forward Davis Betrans have also been mentioned in trade talks, but Morris is less likely to end up with the Lakers due to Morris’ $15 million contract opposed to Betrans’ $7 million contract.
The Lakers officially have less than a month to enhance their roster as the trade deadline is set for Thursday, February 6 at 3 p.m. EST.