The LA Lakers were crowned as the 2020 NBA champions in the Orlando Bubble, as LeBron James added to his strong case to be considered the greatest of all time. An important part of the franchise's incredible run was 25-year-old Kyle Kuzma, who contributed on the defensive end and with his timely scoring off the bench. Reports claim the player is expecting a 'sizable' upgrade on his current contract and as a result, the latest NBA trade rumors have speculated his time with the LA Lakers could be coming to an end.
With Kyle Kuzma currently on a smaller deal, it is only fair for the NBA title-winning player to expect a raise. With NBA trade rumors continuing to bring up the player, here are the cases made for and against the LA Lakers giving Kyle Kuzma the larger contract he is looking for.
NBA Trade Rumors: The Case for the LA Lakers adhering to Kyle Kuzma's demands
While the LA Lakers were willing to trade their entire young core for Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma was the one player who was ultimately retained and for good reason. Of all the big-name youth prospects accumulated by the franchise in recent years, Kuzma showed massive improvement in just two seasons. More importantly, he displayed the ability to fit alongside Lebron James.
At the time, most NBA trade rumors said the franchise believed Kuzma could develop into a championship-level third option for the team, which is why the LA Lakers were so keen on keeping him. While he has taken a backseat role after Anthony Davis' arrival, it would be wrong to say that Kuzma doesn't have the potential to be a star in the NBA.
Many will be quick to point out Kyle Kuzma's drop in numbers for the LA Lakers in the 2020 NBA season. The player went from averaging 18.7 points per game in the 2018-19 season to just 12.8 points per game last season. And while the drop is significant, the fact that the player took up a much more passive role in the team must not be ignored.
Kyle Kuzma may not be the biggest name out there but he continues to gain the attributes and experience to become the third star for the LA Lakers. Considering his age and potential, the franchise could choose to retain the 25-year old and meet his contract demands.
NBA Trade Rumors: The Case against the LA Lakers adhering to Kyle Kuzma's demands
While Kyle Kuzma could be on his way to becoming a star, it is easy to argue that he isn't quite there yet. It might be a tad early for the player to demand a contract larger than what the LA Lakers are looking to offer him. It is no coincidence that NBA trade rumors mention Kuzma so often, out of all the talented players on the LA Lakers roster.
While the 25-year-old did turn up for the LA Lakers in the 2020 NBA Playoffs and was reliable at times, he was still far too inconsistent to be considered an adequate third option on a championship team. In fact, his inconsistency is the biggest reason why NBA trade rumors have linked the LA Lakers to multiple stars around the league.
Speaking of NBA trade rumors, many reports suggest that Kyle Kuzma has a high value in the eyes of many teams across the league this off-season. The historic franchise may be best served by trading him away along with other assets to potentially bring in an established star who could help the team repeat their NBA title win next season.
On the whole, considering his current ability and his potential trade value, the LA Lakers absolutely shouldn't consider giving in to Kyle Kuzma's demands. NBA trade rumors expect the LA Lakers to explore the option of moving him ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season, and it could be the right move for the franchise.
Published 10 Nov 2020, 19:08 IST