If the Los Angeles Lakers were to trade Kyle Kuzma, it would not only set the franchise up for failure this season, but in the grand scheme of things, as well.
With the Trade Deadline approaching as the days go by, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to bolster their team to be ready for a deep playoff run.
Ever since the season first began, many have questioned the fit with third-year forward Kyle Kuzma. In 33 appearances, Kuzma has averaged 13.2 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting from the field.
That’s a significantly drop from the 18.6 points he averaged on 45.6 percent shooting from the field in 2018-19.
Every time Kuzma has had a poor performance, fans have wanted him out of Los Angeles. However, when he has a great performance, many endorse for him to stay. You can’t have it both ways.
My question would be: Why would you want to trade Kuzma? I highly doubt someone actually has a legitimate reason for trading him.
I completely understand that Kuzma hasn’t necessarily lived up to the hype entering this year, but he’s had many obstacles to go through already this season.
To begin the season, he suffered a stress reaction injury in his foot. It’s no secret that injuries hold players back from unlocking their true potential. We have to give him a chance because he’s had to play through injury basically the entire season.
Another issue that I’ve noticed with this entire situation is the lack of minutes and consistency Kuzma gets. Some games he’ll play 32-to-35 minutes, and the next game he’ll play 20-to-22.
Head coach Frank Vogel has done a great job when it’s come to implementing everyone’s role for team success. The one issue I have with Vogel is that he’s struggling to implement Kuzma properly into the team’s system.
Kuzma has proven capable of coming up big in big moments. On the road against Dallas, a game in which the Lakers were without Anthony Davis, Kuzma stepped up by contributing 26 points on 9-of-22 shooting.
The next day at Oklahoma City, without LeBron James or Davis, Kuzma led the way to yet another impressive victory by scoring 36 points on 15-of-24 shooting.
You want to know why there’s no consistency from Kuzma? It’s because of the lineups he’s apart of.
When he’s on the court frequently, Rajon Rondo is also out there with him. Rondo, in the past few weeks, hasn’t necessarily been playing his best basketball, and has been just as ball-dominant.
Last year, Kuzma averaged about 50.4 touches per game, while averaging 18.7 points. This year, he averages about 32.8 touches per game, while averaging 12.9 points.
You see the difference now?
My biggest problem with this whole situation is as to why he’s even on the trading block. This year, he was expected to be a bench player, only to average around 12-to-15 points per game. What’s the problem?
The Lakers are having so much success with their depth. It’s always someone different on the bench that’s having a great game. Whether it’s Dwight Howard, Troy Daniels, Quinn Cook, Rajon Rondo, or Kuzma, not one player is expected to shine every game.
That’s the beauty of the Lakers’ depth. When Howard or Cook is playing well, Kuzma doesn’t need to score 15-to-20 points per game—and yet, that’s what people are expecting.
Wake up Laker fans; we can’t be too greedy. The Lakers are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a 34-8 record. Why fix something that ain’t broke?
I understand if you want to add a player to expand our depth, but by giving up Kuzma, how much better would the Lakers be?
You also have to take the salary cap into consideration. Kuzma’s being paid $1.9 million this year, and $3.5 million next year. This isn’t NBA 2K; you can’t just trade one guy for another.
My point in all of this is that Kuzma is meeting his expectations per his contract. He’s only 24 years of age and has had flashes throughout the season. As such, we need to give him some time to really jell with the team for consistency.
The Lakers are the number one seed in the Western Conference for a reason. Don’t fix anything that ain’t broke.
That will only set them up for failure in the long run.