Kyle Kuzma’s agent disputed a report that surfaced this week about the 25-year-old Los Angeles Lakers forward having a feud with starting guard Dennis Schroder.
The report from Jordan Schultz of ESPN said that Schroder and Kuzma “feuded throughout the season, with things going further south throughout the Lakers’ first-round series loss to Phoenix.”
Kuzma’s agent, Vin Sparacio, took issue with the report, which he made clear in with an Instagram story, calling Schultz a clown.
Kuzma and Schroder have remained quiet following the report. The Lakers have been good at keeping things in-house during the season, choosing what gets out. But there never appeared to be a rift between Kuzma and Schroder, at least on the court. Both have been involved in trade rumors and there’s a chance that they could be on different teams next season, with Schroder being an unrestricted free agent and Kuzma holding the distinction of being one of the Lakers key trade chips.
Kuzma Has Hinted at Lakers Bad Chemistry
The Lakers were bounced in the first round of the postseason, seeing their title defense cut short. Kuzma lauded Phoenix’s chemistry during an interview with Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway, hinting that this year’s edition of the Lakers just didn’t have what the bubble-squad had in 2020.
“I saw them as a potential Finals team just off their chemistry,” Kuzma told Conway. “Last year with us, we had unbelievable chemistry and everybody kind of jelled and knew their role and had fun doing it, had fun playing with each other. I noticed playing them, that same type of feel. Everybody was communicating, talking, having fun, smiling with each other. Usually, when you have a team connected like that, you win big.”
Kuzma also revealed that he’d like to handle the ball more in a consistent role.
“My biggest thing is I just want to play within a consistent role,” Kuzma said. “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.”
Insider: Kuzma Ready to Move on From Lakers
There have been consistent trade rumors surrounding Kuzma the last few seasons and it’s something he’s grown familiar with. That being said, things seem to be getting serious with his bump in salary thanks to an extension and the Lakers eager to find more help for LeBron James and Anthony Davis so they can take advantage of their championship window.
There’s also a chance that Kuzma is simply ready to move on and unleash what he feels is his All-Star potential. Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus said as much during an appearance on The Lakerside Chats with Alen Ramic.
“I think [Kuzma] is ready to move on,” Pincus said. “Winning cures all and you’re willing to sacrifice, but this year they didn’t win and I think everyone is grumpier. I think they are exhausted mentally from what happened the last year or two.”
We’ll see how it all shakes out for the Lakers in what is expected to be a very interesting offseason.