Kyle Kuzma has just completed his fourth season with the Los Angeles Lakers. With the arrival of Anthony Davis back in the summer of 2019, the 25-year-old forward saw his role diminish. He started only 9 out of 61 regular season games in 2019-2020 season. The number of games started increased for Kuzma this past season to 32.
Although he evolved into a rotational player for the Lakers over the last couple of years, Kuzma himself is confident he can reach All-Star level numbers if given a consistent role.
“I definitely can. I definitely believe that, too. I don’t really care what nobody thinks or says. I know myself, and I know my ability. It’s hard to be consistent in an inconsistent role. I’m excited for a more consistent space next year,” Kuzma said.
“I’ve done a great job every offseason of trying to build something and add something to my game. I’ve turned myself into a great defender. My rookie year, I was a stop sign on defense. I didn’t really stop anybody. Now, whether it’s elite wings, 4 men, even point guards and shooting guards, I have the ability to guard four positions now and really affect the game on that end of the court.”
This past season, Kuzma averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game for the Lakers. Compared to the previous season, he improved both rebounds and assists numbers (4.5 and 1.3 in 2019-2020 season).
Kuzma signed a three-year contract extension in December 2020. His contract is set to run through 2023-2024 season (third year is player option). However, sports analyst Shannon Sharpe is calling for Kuzma to be traded by the Lakers.