BEN ANDERSON

Report: Lakers And Pacers Discussed Kuzma Trade

Jul 27, 2021, 3:51 PM
Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during action against the Portland Trail Blazers in ...
Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during action against the Portland Trail Blazers in the second half in Game 1 of Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 18, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly discussed a trade that would have sent former Utah Utes star Kyle Kuzma to the Indiana Pacers in an effort to move up in Thursday’s NBA draft.

According to HoopsHype‘s Michael Scotto, the Lakers would have sent Kuzma to Indiana with the 22nd pick in the draft for the 13th pick and matching salaries.

“The talks centered around acquiring the 13th overall pick from Indiana and needed salary filler but was turned down,” according to Scotto.

Kuzma has had an up and down career in Los Angeles after being drafted with the 27th pick of the 2017 NBA draft and has been regularly involved in trade rumors.

The former Ute led the Lakers to the Las Vegas Summer League title before being named to the 2017-18 All-Rookie Team. However, the forward has struggled with inconsistent play and has seen a dip in his scoring averages over the last two years after a promising start to his career.

Kuzma signed a three-year, $40 million contract extension with the Lakers last summer which is set to begin this season. But, after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs while defending their 2020 NBA championship, the Lakers are in need of a talent upgrade to support LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Kuzma averaged 16.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists during his third and final season with the Utes.

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