Despite the fact that they’re the current NBA champions, there is still some uncertainty about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers. Sure, LeBron James isn’t going anywhere, and Anthony Davis skipping town would be a shock, but there are still a number of players around them who need to have their situations resolved sometime soon.
One such example is Kyle Kuzma, who is eligible for an extension this offseason and would reportedly like to be paid handsomely. He could become a restricted free agent next summer if he so chooses, but before then, L.A. has the opportunity to keep him around.
The issue, according to Ian Begley of SNY (who confirmed other media reports), is that there is no consensus on how to handle Kuzma wanting to get paid.
Also, in Los Angeles, there isn’t a consensus among decision-makers about signing Kyle Kuzma to a contract extension, SNY sources confirm (as first reported by The Ringer). I don’t see Los Angeles seriously considering a trade of Kuzma in the offseason, but it’s something worth keeping an eye on if you’re a Knick fan. The Knicks pursued Kuzma in trade talks at the 2020 trade deadline.
This is hardly the first Kuzma-related rumor in recent days. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer brought up a potential deal where he’d be flipped to San Antonio for DeMar DeRozan, while Ramona Shelburne mentioned that the Lakers are gauging the trade market, even if they are interested in bringing him back.
Still, Kuzma is an interesting case, as he took a reduced role to facilitate Davis coming to L.A. The issue with that was his numbers dropped off in reduced minutes — 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25 minutes per game with nine starts — and he’ll turn 26 next summer. He’s not a bad player at all, but figuring out how he fits into the Lakers’ future is a bit tricky, which is evident in Begley’s reporting.