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Knicks reportedly explore Kyle Kuzma trade with Lakers (for Marcus Morris?)

Trail Blazers Lakers Basketball

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, top, goes up for a shot past Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)


It’s easy to picture why the rebuilding Knicks — whether it’s Scott Perry or whoever is next running their front office — would have interest in the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma. The Laker forward is aggressive, drives hard in a straight line to the basket, and can get buckets.

It’s much harder to picture how a deal gets done.

That said, the two parties have talked, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

What made it even more interesting is this follow-up Tweet.

Morris absolutely would fit with the Lakers’ desire to have toughness and defense inside for the playoffs, plus bigs who can space the floor from three (Morris is shooting 42 percent from deep this season).

It also is next to impossible to see how the teams construct a trade that works for both sides.

That’s because Kuzma, on his rookie deal, makes $2 million this season, while Morris makes $15 million. Matching salaries becomes a challenge. The Lakers can do it easily with Kuzma and Danny Green, except Los Angeles wisely doesn’t want to surrender Green (and would that even be an upgrade?). It can work if the Lakers send Kuzma, DeMarcus Cousins (out injured but still on the books), Avery Bradley, and Quinn Cook for Morris, but that would strip the Lakers of a lot of depth and a guy they lean on defensively in Bradley. Is all that really an upgrade for L.A.? Plus, the rebuilding Knicks likely want picks and young players and the Lakers have limited draft assets to send out after the Anthony Davis trade.

Everybody talks to everybody at this point on the NBA calendar, that’s very different than getting a trade done.

No doubt the sides talked, and wanted people to know they talked, but that’s very different from making a trade happen.