NBA Trade Rumors: Kyle Kuzma Could Leave LeBron James and Lakers for a Bigger Role

Published 06/20/2021, 11:36 PM EDT
Apr 10, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol (14) and small forward Kyle Kuzma (0) and power forward Anthony Davis (3) and small forward LeBron James (23) watch from the bench during the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


The Lakers have always been a championship-contending team ever since the franchise started operations. But this year, even as the defending champion, the Lake Show went off-air much before their time. So this end result obviously demanded the franchise make some tough calls.

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Among all the trade rumors surrounding the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma’s outgoing is on the top of the cards. There are certain teams very much interested in his services and a trade looks more real than ever now. So will Jeanie Buss take Kyle out and head towards a rebuild? 

The Lakers might cut ties with Kyle Kuzma

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Kyle Kuzma joined the league in 2017 after the Nets picked him 27th and pushed him towards LA. He showed promising talent and growth in the first two years but fell off the rail in the following two seasons. Notably, he has performed better as a starter than as a bench player, but his inconsistency never got him a concrete starting position.

Yet, the Lakers signed a 3-year $40 million extension with the star in December 2020. This got him an assured seat until 2022-23 and a player option in 2023-24. However, rumor now has it that the star is looking for a greater role somewhere else.

This can be understandable because Kuzz had shown early signs of frustration even during the Lakers’ regular season. He had been an outspoken teammate and had also publicly demanded a bigger role for center Marc Gasol.

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What can be on the cards for the youngster?

The Kriss Kross is averaging 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists at 44.8% FG in his career. That he wants a bigger role certainly means he wants to move out of the shadow of LeBron James and gain more starting minutes to improve his average. He is not really a catch-and-shoot player, but more of a ball-handler who can run with the ball. 

Mar 12, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) goes up for a shot past Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, he created a stir in the trade market by removing ‘Lakers’ from his Instagram bio. In a move that was uncalled for, the 25-YO made his intentions clear. 

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Prior to this rumor, there were similar hopes in the air that suggested Kuzma’s trade to the Nets in return for Spencer Dinwiddie. However, that never happened and now, teams like the Pistons, Kings, Cavaliers, and Pacers can show an interest in a potential trade. 

But one thing remains certain – Rob Pelinka will not let Kuzma out unless a really good package arrives on his table.

What do you think, will Kuz go out? If yes, then which team could be a good destination? 

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Watch this story – Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Other Lakers Who Changed Jersey Number Multiple Times

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Sourabh Singh

1413 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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