The season has ended in disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers. After being considered title favorites for much of the year, the team was outclassed by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. They lost 113 to 100 in the Game 6 elimination game. It’s been a very tough year for the Lakers and things only got tougher towards the end.
With Anthony Davis missing most of the last three games in the series, the team desperately needed a player to step up. In Game 6, Kyle Kuzma was not that player. He scored two points and just had a dreadful performance all game. Many took to Twitter to bash the forward but former NBA player Kendrick Perkins summed it up perfectly by saying Kuzma “just don’t get it.”
He was supposed to be the Lakers’ third star after they traded for Davis. That hasn’t been the case whatsoever. Kuzma will have the occasional good game but he’s wildly inconsistent. This could’ve been his time to shine but he faltered when Los Angeles needed him the most.
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Will Kuzma Be on the Lakers Next Season?
At this point, the Lakers know what they have in Kuzma. He’s a streaky player who is capable of getting hot but it happens rarely. Just before the season started, the team handed him a sizable contract extension. That’s starting to look like a mistake in hindsight.
This offseason, it’s hard to imagine the Lakers don’t try to trade him for a better piece. Perhaps a fresh start on a team where he can start is what Kuzma needs. It’s clearly not working in Los Angeles so it might be best to move on. There was a recent report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report that stated the team “actively shopped” the forward during the season. His value is likely a lot lower now but the Lakers could get something for him. For years, he’s been mentioned in trade rumors. It’s clear now that he’s not going to be the third star that the team hoped he’d be. There’s a strong chance he’s not on the Lakers’ roster come the start of next season.
What’s Next for Lakers?
After a great season that ended in a championship, the Lakers shook up their roster and added some pieces. Those pieces didn’t work out. Dennis Schroder had some good game against the Suns but also had some terrible duds. Montrezl Harrell has been in and out of the lineup and so has Marc Gasol. Andre Drummond didn’t even play in Game 6.
The Lakers looked to have a stacked team heading into the season but that clearly wasn’t the case. There’s likely to be a big roster shakeup this offseason. LeBron only has so many years left in the league. The Lakers can’t run it back and expect the results to be different. It will be very interesting to see what vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka has in store.