When the Anthony Davis Saga ended in 2019, many asked: “Why the Lakers didn’t include Kyle Kuzma?”
Many believed that Kyle Kuzma could become what Brandon Ingram couldn’t during the latter’s stint with the Los Angeles Lakers: the next big star next to LeBron James. Instead, what happened was the opposite of everything. Ingram played great in his first season with the New Orleans Pelicans and even won the 2019-2020 Kia NBA Most Improved Player award. Meanwhile, Kuzma did contribute to the Lakers’ championship run last year but, that was it. No consistent numbers. His energy on both sides of the court remained inconsistent.
Kyle Kuzma failed to live up to expectations.
Numbers Dropping Consistently
If there’s one thing that consistent with Kuzma, it’s the drop in his numbers yearly.
Sure, his scoring average jumped from 16 points per game in his rookie season to 18 points per game in his second season. Since then, it’s a downhill ride.
In the past two seasons, Kyle Kuzma averaged 12 points per game. He never shot above 45% from the field and 36% from the three-point line. His decision-making is also a question that makes even the fans of the Lakers go nuts. One possession, he made a great shot. In the next possession, he turned the ball over.
His numbers in the playoffs are even lower than what he had in the regular season. During the 2021 playoffs, Kyle Kuzma only put up six points, three rebounds, and an assist per game. He shot 29% from the field and 17% from the three-point line.
LeBron and Kuzma Don’t Get Along
If the Lakers want another reason they should trade Kyle Kuzma already, it’s this reason alone.
If reports are true, LeBron James doesn’t get along with Kyle Kuzma. As Colin Cowherd said, Kyle Kuzma “disappears in big spots for the Lakers.” Frankly, we cannot blame LeBron James for that.
We all know that LeBron James is involved in every roster move of every team he played. If he wants Kyle Kuzma out of Hollywood, it will happen eventually.
Kyle Kuzma may inevitably have played his final game as a Los Angeles Laker. With the LeBron James angle involved, a trade involving Kuzma will soon materialize. The only question is this: Can the Lakers find a trade partner that will gamble on Kyle Kuzma?
The Lakers are favorites to land Damian Lillard should Lillard gets traded by the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Lakers don’t have enough pieces to offer for Lillard. Portland won’t listen to any trade offer from the Lakers if the package doesn’t include either LeBron James or Anthony Davis.
Trading an inconsistent player in Kyle Kuzma is a problem that the Lakers need to solve before the 2021-2022 season. Then again, LeBron James reportedly doesn’t get along with Kyle Kuzma. One way or another, Kuzma’s stint in Los Angeles is at its end.