How the Contracts of LeBron James and Anthony Davis Impacted Kyle Kuzma’s Extension at the Lakers

Published 12/21/2020, 10:34 PM EST
Dec 13, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) scores a basket in front of Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum (33) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers had a productive off-season. They could make up for losing Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo with some decent signings. They are stronger on paper than they were last year, and the fans could not have asked for more.

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The best highlights from their dealings were the contract extensions. The offers accepted by LeBron James and Anthony Davis ensured that the killer duo is there to stay. This only improved their probability of defending the title. But there was one more player whose future got locked in with the Lakers.

Kyle Kuzma is quickly becoming the Lakers’ third option

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Kyle recently signed an extension contract with the franchise that ensured his place as a franchise player. Interestingly, a month ago, it was almost certain that the Lakers’ front office would relieve the 25-YO of his duties to sign a better player. However, the contrary happened, and it is now being seen as a welcoming move.

LeBron James signed his 2-year extension with the franchise, and that means he will stay on the team until 2022-23. Bron will receive a total of $125 million in the coming three years. AD signed his record-setting five-year extension with the team that will give him a whopping $190 million. 

These two deals impacted how Kyle Kuzma approached his negotiations. The youngster did not opt for a single-year deal. Instead, he played it big by agreeing to a 3-year deal that will give him $40 million. Earlier, Kyle was eyeing more money, but he settled for less, believing that aligning his contract with the duo’s will help his shot at winning.

How good is this for the franchise and the duo?

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Dec 13, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when Kyle helped the Lakers win those seeding games in the Orlando Bubble by playing exceptionally during the clutch? Everyone was quick to assume that he could be the third option for the Lakers. However, coach Frank Vogel had different plans for him and did not use him in the starting line-up.

But now, the strategy is seemingly changing. Kuzma started all four preseason games for the Lakers, all of which they won. Leaving aside their last game against the Suns, Kyle played really well in the other three games. His role is certainly bigger now, and that could help his career shape as well as relieve the dynamic duo of some burden.

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Do you see Kuzma’s extension as a win-win for the team? 

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Sourabh Singh

1256 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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