Former Laker Kyle Kuzma Sounds Off on Russell Westbrook Trade

Getty Former Laker Kyle Kuzma.

Kyle Kuzma thinks the Washington Wizards were the clear winners of the trade that brought Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers — albeit, he might be a bit biased.

Kuzma shared his opinion on the trade after the Wizards moved to 2-0 on Saturday with a thrilling overtime victory.

“I mean, you gotta do that trade 10 out of 10 times. If you have an opportunity to get five good basketball players for one, it makes sense. Granted, [Westbrook is] obviously a Hall of Fame player and everything. He’s an unbelievable player, don’t take that wrong,” Kuzma told reporters Friday.

“But especially for a team like Washington, if you look at the track record from the past couple of years, it hasn’t necessarily been enough ballplayers here… It’s smart, you have to do it if you’re a GM.”

The new additions have looked good for the Wizards, including Kuzma, who is averaging 18.5 points and 13 rebounds through the first two games. Montrezl Harrell, another former Laker, is averaging 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is playing over 30 minutes per game and providing a great 3-and-D presence.

The other two players the Wizards looped into the deal were backup point guard Aaron Holiday and former Nets guard Spender Dinwiddie.

Wes Unseld Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Davis Bertans, and Spencer Dinwiddie after Wizards win over PacersWes Unseld Jr.: 0:00 Kyle Kuzma: 8:33 Davis Bertans: 18:01 Spencer Dinwiddie: 24:172021-10-23T05:53:17Z

Russell Westbrook Still Finding His Role With Lakers

Adding Westbrook gave the Lakers a third star but it was clear from the start that it would take some time to integrate him into the lineup. The former MVP is the best with the ball in his hands but has to learn how to work with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who also both command the ball quite a bit.

“I’m OK with adversity, honestly,” Westbrook said Saturday. “I never panic throughout the course of a season. Especially at the start of the season. There’s really no need to. The season is too long and nobody is winning nothing right now.

“Yes, it’s good to get off to a good start and feel good about yourself, but especially me personally, I like to make sure that I’m — as the season goes on — I’m constantly just getting better and better and better as the season prolongs. And making sure that my team and my teammates are getting better as well as we all get comfortable with each other.”

Westbrook had a fairly miserable debut, going 4-of-13 from the field with just eight points, five rebounds and four assists. He looked closer to himself in the 115-105 loss to the Suns on Friday, nearing a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Westbrook still shot just 40% from the field and a miserable 37.5% from the free throw line.

Lakers Still Favorites in the West

Despite their early struggles, the Lakers are still favorites to win the Western Conference, coming in at +170, per Vegas Insider. Golden State is the next closest team at +425. Meanwhile, the Wizards are +6,600 to take the Eastern Conference thanks to Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Milwaukee lurking.

As Westbrook said, it’s a long season, so the Lakers have some time to turn things around.


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