Kyle Kuzma identifies one area he's trying to build upon heading into uncertain future with Lakers - Lakers Daily

Kyle Kuzma identifies one area he’s trying to build upon heading into uncertain future with Lakers

Kyle Kuzma Lakers

After winning the franchise’s 17th NBA title, the Los Angeles Lakers quickly went through some drastic changes.

Five of the team’s veteran players are now suiting up for other teams around the league after two trades and a series of free-agent signings.

Although Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard and Danny Green will no longer be wearing the Purple and Gold, the Lakers chose not to trade Kyle Kuzma leading to more speculation about his long-term future in Los Angeles.

On Thursday, Kuzma fielded questions from the media, including if he’s working on a contract extension with the team.

“We talked. It’s obviously just talk between my agent and the organization,” Kuzma said. “They’re working through things. We’ll see.”

Kuzma is set to make $3.5 million with Lakers for the 2020-21 campaign before being eligible for a qualifying offer of $5.2 million after the upcoming season. However, the University of Utah product is eligible to sign an extension and secure his future with the team.

The question moving forward is if the Lakers want to ink him to a long-term deal or prefer to trade him before the NBA’s deadline which is rumored to be March 25.

With Kuzma in somewhat of a limbo stage of his young career, the 25-year-old addressed what he believes will be his role on the Lakers moving forward.

“You never truly know until the ball goes up and the season starts going,” Kuzma said. “We’ll see. Obviously, it’s ultimately what Frank [Vogel] views me as. We’ll see.”

Although Kuzma had his moments at times last season, the former first-round pick struggled to adjust to being the team’s third option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Despite his struggles, he tried to improve his skills on the defensive end of the floor and continued that process over the course of this extremely short offseason for the Lakers.

“I want to build on what I did in the playoffs from a defensive standpoint,” Kuzma said. “Take those steps as a defender. Improve my all-around game, so that’s just always a process every offseason. Every time you reflect you try to build on what you did last year and work on it and just improve.”

Kuzma’s future with the team is no doubt uncertain at this point as he could be one of the players mentioned frequently on the trading block headed toward the deadline in March.

In the meantime, the promising young forward needs to continue to focus on improving his game and show why he’s deserving of a lucrative contract extension.