Kyle Kuzma Sends Strong Message Amid Trade Speculation

Getty Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma and coach Frank Vogel.

Kyle Kuzma has heard the growing noise as the NBA trade deadline approaches, but the Los Angeles Lakers forward isn’t sweating it.

Kuzma — who has had his name floated in multiple trade rumors this season and last — took to Instagram to send a strong message on his perspective during the turbulent time.

“Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep,” Kuzma wrote on a post following the Lakers victory against the Brooklyn Nets.

Kuzma contributed 16 points as the Lakers reeled off a 128-113 win against the Nets to improve their Western Conference leading record to 36-9.

Kyle Kuzma Growing Alongside Lakers Stars

Kuzma had a bumpy start to a year where he was expected to be the third option for the Lakers behind superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James. He dealt with injuries and had to find a way to fit into his role as a sixth man off the bench after playing a larger role on lesser teams.

But since the New Year, Kuzma has scored in double-digits in all but two games. He also notched a season-high 36 points against Oklahoma City on Jan. 11.


HIGHLIGHTS | Kyle Kuzma (36 pts, 7 reb) at Oklahoma City ThunderHIGHLIGHTS | Kyle Kuzma (36 pts, 7 reb) at Oklahoma City Thunder. Subscribe for the latest Lakers' content: youtube.com/channel/UC8CSt-oVqy8pUAoKSApTxQw Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/lakers Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/lakers/ Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Lakers Get the Lakers app: nba.com/lakers/multimedia… Check out the Lakers full 2019-20 regular-season schedule: nba.com/lakers/schedule2020-01-12T03:44:12.000Z

“My learning curve has been pretty accelerated in a sense,” Kuzma told Bill Oram of The Athletic, “but for the better. … We’re playing like championship basketball right now. We’re not playing with a bunch of young guys that are still trying to find their way. I mean, I’m still trying to find my way in this league, but I’m learning how to play championship ball.”


Kyle Kuzma: ‘I Don’t Care’ About Trade Rumors


Kyle Kuzma for Devin Booker? Stephen A. wants to see the Lakers make a trade | First TakeStephen A. Smith breaks down why the Los Angeles Lakers should consider packaging PF Kyle Kuzma in a deal for a much-needed shooter like Phoenix Suns PG Devin Booker ahead of the 2020 NBA trade deadline. #FirstTake #NBA ✔ Subscribe to ESPN+ plus.espn.com/ ✔ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube:…2020-01-14T17:23:27.000Z

Going back to last season when the Lakers were trying to put together packages for Anthony Davis, Kuzma has been a key part of trade talks in LA. After eventually giving up a haul for Davis in the offseason, the 24-year-old Kuzma has often been touted as the team’s top trade chip if they hope to land a third star-type talent.

Now with more time under his belt in the NBA, Kuzma has taken a different approach to dealing with the rumors.

“I consumed it more last year,” Kuzma told reporters. “This year is different I don’t care at all, but last year it was new and foreign, so it was like more of a can’t-really-escape-it thing. But for me it’s a little bit easier now. I don’t really have my Twitter like that. I don’t really use it.”

Other than a retweet announcing a new endorsement deal, Kuzma has been radio silent on Twitter, although his note on Instagram might be evidence that he’s at least listening to some of the rumors — although that’s not the best idea. As insider Brian Windhorst pointed out on ESPN’s Hoop Collective there’s lots of “conflicting information” floating around on Kuz.

“Kuzma is their best trade asset and I’m just going to say, there’s conflicting information out there about him. I’ve talked to three or four different teams who told me ‘Kyle Kuzma is available for trade. He can be had.’ There have been reports elsewhere and other people elsewhere have said that the Lakers have indicated they do not want to trade him,” Windhorst said.

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 6.

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