The Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Phoenix Suns after what was a tough, grueling, and disappointing 2020-21 NBA season. LeBron James and Anthony Davis both missed major time with injury, but the worst part was that the rest of the roster did not step up around them. One of the biggest disappointments was the play of young forward Kyle Kuzma.
Over the last few years, the Lakers have been willing to bet on Kuzma’s pure talent. There is no question that he has the skill and ability to become a very good NBA player, especially on the offensive end of the court. Unfortunately, that skill and potential has yet to materialize consistently.
Now, it appears that the Lakers could be ready to move on from Kuzma. An NBA agent spoke to NBA Analysis Network about the Lakers’ plans with Kuzma and it sounds like a trade could be on the horizon.
“The Lakers have grown frustrated with (Kyle) Kuzma’s inconsistency and are going to look at trading him this offseason. Rob Pelinka won’t move him for cheap, but if he can be packaged to add better talent around LeBron and AD, they will do that. Kuzma will be on the trade block this offseason and quite a few teams are expected to show interest.”
During the 2020-21 NBA season with the Lakers, Kuzma ended up averaging 12.9 points per game to go along with 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He shot 44.3 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 36.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers showed some promise and improvement from the 2019-20 season.
Any team that could use some help on the offensive end of the court could take a look at Kuzma. With a larger role than the one he has had with the Lakers, there is a good chance he could develop very quickly.
Kuzma is just 25 years old and has plenty of time left to reach his full potential. Perhaps a change of scenery could do him good. Los Angeles knows that their championship window is now and if they can pull off another trade to move them closer to another ring with James and Davis leading the way, they need to make that move.
It will be interesting to see what kind of market opens up for Kyle Kuzma this offseason. Plenty of teams could use a young forward with stretch four potential, which is exactly what the Lakers’ youngster brings to the court. L.A. could also bring him back if they don’t get a deal they like.
All of that being said, the Lakers are going to be open for business this offseason. They are not happy at all with a first-round playoff exit and Kuzma could be a casualty from that disappointing end to the season.