It’s a hard time of year for Kyle Kuzma, but he should be used to it at this point. Since coming into the NBA as an overachieving forward, he’s had to deal with a consistent flow of trade rumors involving his name. This season, they’ve probably reached an all-time high as he hasn’t become the integral part of the team that the Los Angeles Lakers were hoping he would be. However, he’s taking the rumors in stride.
“I really don’t care, honestly,” Kuzma said on Tuesday, via Melissa Rohlin. “You can’t control it. If I get traded, I get traded. It don’t matter. I’m still going to play basketball. I’m still going to play the game I love. I’m still going to be paid.”
Not every player is LeBron James and doesn’t have to worry about trade rumors. Most players throughout their careers have to deal with these kinds of rumblings. Kuzma believes avoiding social media is a good way to go about things.
“I consumed it more last year,” he said, per Bill Oram of The Athletic. “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.”
Considering players are almost always in the dark when it comes to the latest trade rumors, it could be better just to remain ignorant of the rumors until something actually happens.
Knicks & Wolves Have Expressed Interest
The Lakers seem very open to trading Kuzma, but they’re not going to do it if they don’t get what they want in return. It’s been reported that both the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest in the forward. However, it remains to be seen if either team has anything Los Angeles wants. The Lakers reportedly were interested in Robert Covington, but Minnesota dealt him to Houston on Tuesday night.
Los Angeles is looking for a ball-handler, but neither the Wolves or Knicks seem to provide really good options. Based on what’s been reported, the Lakers are only likely to trade Kuzma if they can get Bogdan Bogdanovic or Derrick Rose. The team is apprehensive to mess with their current chemistry, so it’s unlikely they make a trade just to make a trade.
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Kuzma Heeds Old Advice From Kobe Bryant
Fortunately for Kuzma, he’s been surrounded by some of the best to ever do it. He got to spend a lot of time around the late Kobe Bryant and Kuzma recalled some great advice from the legend.
“Kobe always used to tell me if they aren’t talking about you, you should be worried,” Kuzma said, via The Athletic’s Bill Oram. “And I’m the talk of the town.”
Kuzma isn’t wrong. His name is dominating the headlines for a team that has LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As Thursday’s trade deadline closes in, it seems less and less likely the Lakers will give up Kuzma. Crazy stuff could still happen, but Los Angeles is rolling right now and the forward still has big-time scoring ability when he’s hot.