Dennis Schroder poured some cold water on the rumors of a beef between the and Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kyle Kuzma in a very simple way.
He wished happy birthday to Kuzma — a message the Lakers forward reposted, evidence that the rumors of their tension might be a bit overstated.
“Happy Birthday Kuz,” Schroder wrote. “My dawg. Live it up and stay healthy and blessed.”
The report of the feud came from Jordan Schultz of ESPN, saying the relationship between the two hit a boiling point in the postseason when the Lakers were bounced in the first round by the Phoenix Suns.
“League sources say Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma feuded throughout the season, with things going further south throughout the Lakers’ first-round series loss to Phoenix,” Schultz reported. “Interesting note to consider heading into the draft and free agency.”
Kuzma Caught Up in Trade Rumors Yet Again
It hasn’t been the smoothest offseason for Kuzma, who has been caught up in trade rumors yet again. He’s been a consistent figure in trade talks basically since his debut in purple and gold and it’s something Kuzma said he’s grown to tolerate and deal with.
“I really don’t care, honestly,” he said last year. “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.”
The Lakers reportedly tried to trade Kuzma at the deadline last year, per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer.
“I think they’ve been trying to move Kuzma for a long time,” an assistant general manager told Fischer. “His defense has always been questionable, and I think his early success has become a bit of fool’s gold.”
Kuzma Seeking Larger Role; Schroder Wants Payday
Kuzma averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds last season, playing nearly 29 minutes per game. He started 32 games due to injuries, specifically LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Kuzma has said he believes he can be an All-Star but wants a more consistent role going forward that will feature more ball-handling.
“My biggest thing is I just want to play within a consistent role,” Kuzma told Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway. “If I have that ability, I’ll be able to showcase what I can really do. There were parts of this year—and even anywhere else in my career—when I’m in a consistent space, I’m out there handling the ball, making teammates better, scoring, shooting, defending, rebounding. I think if I’m in that space, I’ll be good.”
Schroder is a free agent and is looking to cash in big. He is reportedly seeking a contract in the range of $100-120 million.
Schroder averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game during his first season with the Lakers.