This offseason has been a big one for young Lakers’ forward Kyle Kuzma, who has seemingly been everywhere. Kuzma first saw most of his teammates – and friends – get traded away in a blockbuster deal for Anthony Davis before being offered an invite to USA Basketball’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup and working out with a number of high profile NBA superstars.
As the last remaining member of the Lakers’ young core, Kuzma should be facing some pressure from the Lakers faithful should he not take the step forward this season that many are expecting him to see. Despite likely coming off the bench this season, Kuzma should be expected to be a major piece in the Lakers’ gameplan and could be utilized in a role similar to that of Lamar Odom nearly a decade ago.
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Kyle Kuzma Talks Losing Teammates in Lakers’ Anthony Davis Trade
Kuzma mentioned how last year’s young team was a bit underprepared to hear their names mentioned in trade rumors. While he didn’t explicitly say that it ruined the season, he talked about how difficult it was for the team to keep up their morale after the news broke. However, Kuzma said he feels the Anthony Davis trade negotiations were a learning moment for his career and that if he can handle what he just went through, he can handle anything the NBA throws his way.
Kuzma also talked about feeling motivated as the only remaining young player left after the Davis trade and wanting to repay the favor to the Lakers for putting their faith into him. Although he said he was initially a bit sad at losing his close friends, his emotions quickly took a turn for the better when realizing that Anthony Davis was going to be coming to town.
Lakers Still Holding Out to Fill Last Roster Spot
With training camp coming up before too long, the Lakers are still searching for the last remaining roster spot they have available moving forward. By all accounts, the Lakers seem to be holding out in the hopes of landing Andre Iguodala – who they hope gets bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies. However, the Grizzlies seem deadset on finding a trade partner for Iguodala and his hefty contract as they prefer not to eat his $17 million this season.
While Iguodala is a fantastic fit on paper, he might never hit the buyout market to begin with and as the Lakers get closer to the start of camp, they need to seriously consider finding other ways to fill out the last spot on the roster. A number of talented options still remaining on the market including high-energy big man Kenneth Faried as well as another defensive wing in Iman Shumpert. While neither player moves the needle quite like Iguodala, neither would be a bad option coming off the back of the bench and offering the Lakers a bit more depth at either the big or wing positions.