Kyle Kuzma‘s first four seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers include several rocky moments. Those situations created a lingering cloud of doubt concerning his future in Los Angeles. All that chatter has now led Kuzma‘s agent to shut down a concerning rumor.
Kyle Kuzma experiences rocky 2020-21 season
With an opportunity to help the Lakers capture a second NBA title, Kuzma struggled to find his footing throughout the season.
His production fluctuated as he averaged 12.9 points on 44.3% shooting from the floor and 36.1% from 3-point range, along with 6.1 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per contest. Kuzma played in 68 games while making 32 starts primarily due to injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
The 25-year-old’s production increased in March, averaging 16.4 points on 43.2% shooting along with 7.9 rebounds in 33.3 minutes per contest. However, he stumbled in the playoffs, becoming a complete non-factor averaging 6.3 points on 23.5% shooting and an abysmal 10.8% shooting from beyond the arc.
As he ventures into the offseason, his agent has quickly shot down a concerning rumor.
Kyle Kuzma’s agent used 1 emoji to shut down a damaging rumor involving a Lakers teammate
In the weeks following the Lakers‘ disappointing first-round playoff exit, the rumor mill continues to heat up around the franchise.
Earlier this week, it took another intriguing turn after Jordan Schultz of ESPN reported Kuzma and Dennis Schroder didn’t see eye to eye. It didn’t take long for the veteran forward’s camp to chime in on the chatter as his agent took to his Instagram story to post a clown emoji paired with the tweet.
Before Schultz’s report, there hadn’t been much in the way concerning internal friction of any sorts, let alone Kuzma and Schroder holding a fractured relationship. It’s hard to know if the rumors are just that or the truth, but it underlines some of the issues that could have arisen throughout the difficult campaign.
Meanwhile, each player holds an uncertain future ahead with Los Angeles due to their respective struggles, especially during the playoffs. Schroder is heading into free agency, and his desire for a $100 million contract may be out of the Lakers’ price range.
Kuzma will begin the first year of his three-year $39 million deal that will pay him a $13 million salary for the 2021-22 season. The 25-year-old is expected to be a significant part of any trade offer as the Lakers improve the roster. Time will tell what will unfold, but it certainly doesn’t look promising for either player’s future in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles will likely explore trade options
As the Lakers venture through the offseason, Kuzma’s future remains on shaky ground.
Los Angeles holds a strong desire to build a stable supporting cast around James and Davis that. It will begin with a more substantial backcourt presence, likely leading the front office into sign-and-trade scenarios. Several prominent players such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Lonzo Ball, and Collin Sexton have been linked to the franchise.
The interest in Kuzma may be diminished due to his porous playoff performance, but he holds plenty of potential. The right situation could land him in a spot to play an extended role. Earlier this offseason, Kuzma voiced that he can average 25 points per game if he received more consistent playing time.
“I definitely can. I definitely believe that, too. I don’t really care what nobody thinks or says. I know myself, and I know my ability. It’s hard to be consistent in an inconsistent role. I’m excited for a more consistent space next year,” Kuzma told Bleacher Report.
Ultimately, Kuzma may have played his final game with the Lakers if the desired trade scenario unravels.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.