Kyle Kuzma knows a thing or two about having his name floated in trade rumors and can only sit back and laugh now as he watches the Los Angeles Lakers from afar in Washington.
Kuzma spent the majority of his four seasons wearing purple and gold involved in trade rumors, always breathing a sigh of relief once the deadline passed. Kuzma is now in Washington, thanks to a trade this offseason that brought Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles, moving the target to young gun Talen Horton-Tucker, who has been the premier piece of rumors.
A report from NBA insider Jordan Schultz has as many as seven teams going after Horton-Tucker.
“Talen Horton-Tucker has become a trade target of as many as seven teams, league sources say. It will take ‘a lot’ to get him though, I’m told,” Schultz tweeted. “The Lakers, who really value THT, are hesitant. He just turned 21 and is averaging a career-best 11 PPG, 5 RPG and 3 assists.”
Kuzma, who has a history with Schultz, responded to the report, writing: “Here y’all go again,” with a series of crying laughing emojis.
Kuzma’s Manager Clowns Horton-Tucker Report
Kuzma’s manager Vin Sparacio also chimed in on Instagram, calling Schultz a clown for the report. He called him the same thing when a story emerged this offseason about Kuzma feuding with former Lakers guard Dennis Schroder.
“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.”
Neither Kuzma nor Schroder returned to the team this season, so that ultimately became a moot point for Los Angeles.
Kyle Kuzma Said Trade Rumors Weighed on Him
Kuzma learned to deal with the rumors while with LA, although it wasn’t necessarily easy for him. In 2019, Kuzma reached a breaking point with the questions about possibly being moved.
“I’m done talking about the deadline,” Kuzma told reporters. “I’ve said a million and two quotes about that since the deadline. You can kind of see from there.”
But as time progressed Kuzma began to realize that being on the trade block is just something that happens — especially in LA.
“For me, I’ve been in trade rumors ever since I came here. I think that’s just a thing that happens when you’re a Laker,” Kuzma said last year. “You’re always in trade rumors, especially around this time, so it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, you just control what you can control.”
As for the trade that sent him to Washington, Kuzma felt the Wizards got the better end of the deal.
“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.
“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.”
Kuzma has been able to wrangle a larger role with the Wizards, playing 32.8 minutes per game, averaging 13.4 points and 8.3 rebounds.