LeBron James’ Former Teammate Takes a Cheeky Dig at Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma Amid Trade Rumors

Published 12/02/2020, 1:18 PM EST
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler shoot against Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma during the second quarter in game six of the 2020 NBA Finals. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have been arguably the busiest team this season. Before the offseason started, two Lakers players were linked to multiple rumors: Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma.

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While Green got traded away to the 76ers, Kuzma is still on the roster. Recently LeBron James’ former teammate Richard Jefferson took a cheeky dig at Kuzma.

Recently, LeBron James was a part of the show Road Trippin. When asked about the players who left the Lakers, James said, “I gotta give a shout-out to Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, and Quinn Cook.”

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Just as the King said this, former teammate Richard Jefferson added, “Kuzma.” He later said, “Kuz, I am kidding, I am kidding.”

It was a big surprise seeing the 24-year-old still a part of the roster. The rate at which the team was upgrading, it seemed only a matter of time before they traded Kuzma.

Rob Pelinka and the Lakers have made it clear that they are impressed with the progress Kuzma has shown and are reportedly open to contract extension talks.

What role can Kuzma play for the Lakers next season?

Kyle Kuzma was the main scoring option of the Lakers for the 2017-18 season. In the absence of the King, Kuzma stepped up in the 2018-19 season and showed his offensive prowess averaging a career-high 18.7 points, 2.3 assists, and 5.5  rebounds.

With LeBron James getting back to his fit self and the addition of Anthony Davis, Kuzma was not the go-to guy anymore. His minutes per match played plummeted and so did his production.

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Oct 4, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) drives to the basket as Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) pursues during the fourth quarter of game three of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. The Miami Heat won 115-104. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

He has now become a key rotational player on the roster. He is a versatile attacker who can score from the wing and from the mid-range.

With Danny Green gone, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers have made it clear that they want Kuzma to be their 3 and D player. The Lakers are lacking a good shooter in the roster. The 25-year-old now has to step up his game, especially from the perimeter to cement his position on the roster.

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Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office might be planning to add a third star in a season or two.  If he steps up, he will be a long-term player with the team, If he does not, he might be traded in the near future.

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Aditya Mohapatra

849 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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