The Los Angeles Lakers are high on Kyle Kuzma, never was this more apparent than during the weeks leading up to the Anthony Davis trade when the 24-year-old forward emerged as a potential hurdle in the blockbuster swap.
But despite general manager Rob Pelinka’s ties to the former 27th overall pick, he has a mission to surround Davis and LeBron James with a strong enough supporting cast to contend for a championship this season and beyond.
A report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick suggests that the Lakers are willing to listen to pitches for the Flint native and it’s not hard to see why. While Kuzma has struggled with a number of injuries this season, he’s also been supplanted from the starting lineup and forced to adjust to a new role.
That new role – as a tertiary offensive option playing nearly 10 fewer minutes per game – isn’t likely to change so long as Davis and James are on the roster.
Kuzma is averaging 12.1 points per game this season, down from 18.7 in 2018-19 and some advanced metrics suggest that the club is better with him off the floor than on it.
Still, Kuzma is a tantalizing, young asset and that’s why, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, teams are doing their due diligence to gauge L.A.’s interest in a potential swap even if the Lakers are reluctant to make a major move.
Kuzma’s has two years left on his incredibly cheap rookie contract – he makes $2.0M in 2019-20 and just $3.6M next year – but it won’t be long before Pelinka and company need to start thinking long and hard about a potential extension. He’ll be eligible to sign one this summer.