Let me start by saying Kyle Kuzma does not suck. At just 23 years old he is definitely a nice young player who showed some flashes in his second season. He had 30+ points on 6 occasions, got to over 40 once, and it’s not crazy to think he can be a 18-20+ point scorer throughout his career. Considering he was a late first round pick he’s certainly outperformed expectations. You know what is crazy though? Not building a super team because you don’t want to include Kyle Kuzma in a potential trade. He’s good, but he’s not THAT good. Not when the other end of the spectrum is Anthony Davis plus another star free agent. I don’t care if he’s young and cost controlled for the forseeable future, you have to make that move in you’re the Lakers and your clock is ticking with LeBron James.
That’s why there’s two ways you can look at this. One is that once LeBron catches wind of this he’ll just demand they trade him to get him the players he wants. Maybe the Lakers are simply trying to pull a fast one over the Pelicans and not blow their load in their initial offer. That would make sense from a negotiation standpoint but then again this is the Lakers we’re talking about and I’m pretty sure they have no fucking clue what they’re doing.
The other way to look at this is LeBron has given the front office clear instruction that Kuzma is off limits. To me this seems more plausible, that he told Rob Pelinka to figure out a way to make this happen and not get rid of Kuzma. I find it hard to believe LeBron has no input on what their trade package so my guess is he’s somewhat responsible for these initial reports. I think we all agree that if push came to shove LeBron wouldn’t think twice about saying goodbye to Kyle Kuzma unless he reaaaaaallly doesn’t give a shit about making the Lakers a contender and is happy just missing the playoffs, enjoying the sun and all his non basketball ventures.
In my dream world, LeBron demands they trade Kuzma, the Lakers still say no and they miss out on AD and any potential free agent. Remember, no current elite free agent is even considering the Lakers
and to think that Kyle Kuzma might be the reason things become even more of a disaster in LA is too perfect. I still think eventually they cave and throw him in, but as of now we have ourselves a good old fashioned negotiation stand-off.