Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers were linked in trade talks earlier this month, with the presumption that the talks centered on Serbian shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic. However, it turns out that this is just half of the story. The reports now surfaced that Kings wanted to get Kyle Kuzma from the Lakers with the intention to send Nemanja Bjelica in the opposite direction.
In a recent piece, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner wrote that the Kings offered Bjelica alongside a draft pick for Kuzma, but ended up getting a counter offer. The Lakers were reportedly willing to part with Kuzma, but only if that meant Bogdanovic was part of the trade. Sacramento was unwilling to make such a deal, and trade talks broke down.
It’s easy to see why the Lakers passed on Bjelica. While the 31-year-old is a solid role player, averaging 12.2 points and 6.5 rebounds off the bench this season, he isn’t a difference-maker and someone who can get the team closer to a championship.
Bogdanovic, on the other hand, is a 3-and-D guy who is a natural shooter and has the potential to excel as a sixth man on a championship team. The 27-year-old is averaging career-high 14.6 points per game while hitting .375 of his three-point shots.
Although Kuzma remains a Laker so far, he obviously isn’t considered untradeable as he once was. The young forward is having a down year this season, but he might still have enough value to land Lakers a proven veteran that would help them in the postseason.