Kings would want more value than Kyle Kuzma from Lakers in Bogdan Bogdanovic trade

The Kings, according to a report, are interested in Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma – even willing to start an offer with Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Kuzma is on the trade block. Bogdanovic reportedly isn’t content coming off Sacramento’s bench long-term and will become a restricted free agent next summer.

But Bogdanovic is better than Kuzma. A guard who can handle and shoot, Bogdanovic also fits better in Los Angeles than Kuzma. If that offer is on the table, why haven’t the Lakers already jumped on it?

Probably because it’s not actually available.

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

Re: @TheSteinLine’s intel about possible Kuzma-for-Bogdanovic swap, I’m told Kings are unlikely to be interested straight up. They value his versatility, are comfortable w/ his restricted free agency & are 0-6 w/out him.

— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 6, 2020

To clarify: Conceptually, Kuz and filler salary is of no interest to the Kings. Salaries obviously don’t match up ($8.5 mill for Bogey to $1.9 mil for Kuz)

— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 6, 2020

Jason Jones of The Athletic:

To follow up, the Kings aren’t shopping Bogdan Bogdanovic and would need to be blown away by an offer. Kings are fine with his RFA status

— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) January 6, 2020

So much of this is spin. No teams want to be viewed as shopping their own players. All teams want to be viewed as having players that other teams are trying to acquire. So, we get this dance.

Though a Kuzma-Bogdanovic trade wouldn’t work straight up under the salary cap, DeMarcus Cousins‘ neutral-value expiring contract would solve that. Cousins is out for the year, so he won’t help the Lakers on this deal. Sacramento could just waive Cousins with no long-term cap hit. So, it would be fairly simple for the teams to arrange a Kuzma-Bogdanovic swap.

I just don’t think Sacramento would do that. The initial report always seemed like a misunderstanding deep into trade-rumor telephone. This follow-up report makes that appear even more likely.

The Kings rarely deserve the benefit of the doubt. But I’d give it to them here.

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