Sacramento Kings: Kyle Kuzma trade talks take interesting new direction

The Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers have some interest in a trade involving Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kyle Kuzma before the February 6th deadline.

The Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers have publicly made it clear they both have an interest in a trade involving Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kyle Kuzma before the February 6th deadline. With that date approaching rapidly, the Kings reportedly made a different offer to the Lakers.

The Kings’ reported interest in Kuzma comes in the wake of not wanting to let Bogdan Bogdanovic walk out the door in free agency with nothing in return. Bogdanovic is in the last season of a three-year, $27 million deal and could demand a hefty contract in free agency.

Having signed star shooting guard Buddy Hield to a massive contract this past offseason, it might not make sense to give another shooting guard significant money.

Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma is in the third year of a four-year $8.5 million rookie contract, making him a very affordable option and an outstanding player. However, the talks between these two never gained any traction it seems, and the Kings have placed a new offer for the Lakers to think about.

According to Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer, the Sacramento Kings’ offer included veteran forward Nemanja Bjelica and an unspecified draft pick. The Lakers turned down the deal and remain set on trying to pry Bogdanovic away from Sacramento.

Bjelica is having a career year offensively, averaging double-digit scoring for the first time in his career with 12.3 points per game. The 31-year-old remains an attractive trade target for many teams across the league, just not the one they were hoping.

This is no knock on Bjelica, but rather that the Los Angeles Lakers have publicly been searching the market for a guard before the deadline, and Bogdanovic appears their most sought after target.

The guard is also having a career year offensively, averaging 14.6 points per game on 12.4 field goal attempts. Meanwhile, Kuzma is averaging 13 points per game, a career-low in his three NBA seasons.

Playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Kuzma was expected to have a slight dip in stats, but his 43.2 percent field goal shooting mixed with a 33.1 percent three-point percentage indicates that the 24-year-old has struggled.

Yet, Kuzma has had some impressive offensive outings throughout the season, most notably his 36-point night against the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this year.

Without James and Davis in the lineup, the forward dropped a season-high 36 points and led the Lakers to a massive 125-110 victory. Games like this showcase the type of potential Kuzma might possess, but it isn’t easy to tell at the moment.

Perhaps a change of scenery could do Kuzma wonders as it did with former teammate Brandon Ingram, who was just selected to his first All-Star appearance and has made his way into Most Improved Player Award talks.

A trade at this moment does not appear likely, but with the deadline still five days away, anything can happen. A deal for Kuzma would make sense for the Kings, but only if both sides can come to reasonable terms.