The Los Angeles Lakers have a dilemma on their hands — trade Kyle Kuzma or don’t trade him at all.
Following their 129-114 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers moved to a 31-7 record — easily the best in the Western Conference. They were aided by Kuzma’s 26 points – which was a season-high for the 24-year-old forward.
Despite Kuzma’s season-high performance in the absence of Anthony Davis — who continues to be sidelined due to a bruised sacrum — the young forward continues to be saddled with trade rumors.
As Kuzma trade rumors continue to swirl, former Lakers player and associate head coach Brian Shaw chimed in on the situation. Shaw, who as recently as the 2018-19 season served on the Lakers’ coaching staff, claims that “GM LeBron James” has played a role in the team’s trade discussions involving Kuzma.
In fact, Shaw goes so far as to state that Kuzma’s trainer’s diss of James on social media is playing a role in the “kiss of death” for Kuzma in Los Angeles.
Check out Shaw’s comments during his appearance on Yahoo Sports’ “The Bounce.”
Brian Shaw: “To every other young Lakers player out there, don’t make the mistake that Kuzma’s team did and have your trainer say anything about GM LeBron James”
Brian Shaw: “I know Rich Paul was trying to sign Kyle Kuzma when he left his agent last year and he didn’t sign with Rich Paul so when you don’t sign with Rich Paul and your trainer comes out and says that Kawhi was giving it to LeBron, you’re gonna be outta there.”
Host: “You think LeBron gave him the kiss of death?”
Brian Shaw: “Aaah man no question.”
You can view the video here:
Brian Shaw Points to Separate Incidents
Shaw is bringing up two different incidents here. First of all, we all know about Kuzma’s trainer, Clint Parks, going on social media and praising Kawhi Leonard while tearing down James. However, Shaw also brings up about how Kuzma didn’t sign with Rich Paul — James’ good friend and agent.
It’s interesting to hear Shaw give his take considering he has always been a close member of the Lakers organization. Not only has Shaw won three championships with the Lakers as a player, he has served two different coaching stints with the franchise. In fact, he even coached James last season as a member of former head coach Luke Walton’s staff.
While there is no evidence that James has played a role in the Lakers holding trade discussions for their young forward, one can’t completely dismiss Shaw’s claims.
Lakers Talking to Multiple Teams About Kuzma?
While the popular possible trade has been none other than the Lakers and the Sacramento Kings’ Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Kings are apparently not the only team in the mix.
According to a report by Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have been engaged in trade discussions with multiple teams regarding a possible trade involving Kuzma.
“The reporting league-wide has centered around Kyle Kuzma, who is one of the Lakers’ most tradeable talents. Pelinka has had conversations with more than one team in which Kuzma was discussed, according to people familiar with those talks. He’s a good young player who has shown a great deal of promise and who has a team-friendly contract.”
With the trade deadline nearing on Feb. 6, it should be interesting to see if the Lakers do move on from Kuzma — or if they end up retaining their promising young star.