The Los Angeles Lakers may or may not win another NBA title this year, but either way, the front office is already looking ahead.
Earlier this week reports surfaced regarding the organization’s plan for Andre Drummond, who was added to the roster following the NBA Trade Deadline.
Drummond isn’t the only Laker being talked about, however.
Kyle Kuzma’s future is also very much up in the air.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, LA has expressed legitimate interest in ridding itself of Kuzma’s 3-year, $39 million deal.
“They made a bunch of calls [at March’s NBA Trade Deadline],” one assistant general manager told Bleacher Report.
“They were very active. ”
And this isn’t a new development.
“I think they’ve been trying to move Kuzma for a long time,” added another assistant general manager.
“His defense has always been questionable, and I think his early success has become a bit of fool’s gold.”
It’s easy to see why the Lakers aren’t sold on Kuzma as a long-term foundational piece. In the play-in game against the Golden State Warriors he scored a mere six points in 22 minutes of action. He then went on to put up zero points in Game 1 against the Phoenix Suns, two points in Game 2 and eight points in Game 3.
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis hobbled all year Kuzma has had ample opportunity to step up – but he hasn’t. At this juncture, it’s clear that he doesn’t have the capacity to.
Ayesha knows how to stay in the news https://t.co/shn4dxsmTZ
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 27, 2021
Kuzma, for his part, knows all this. His reaction to his demotion was telling, and James hasn’t exactly been subtle in his frustration with his young teammate this year.
Whether he’s getting cooked by Devin Booker or being roasted for his weird shoe, everything this season seems to be a struggle for Kuzma.
Obviously there’s still time for him to play up to his potential and right the ship. If Kuzma performs and helps lead the Lakers to another title, all his past sins will be forgotten. But if not – expect LA’s front office to get much more aggressive when it comes to moving him.
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