Kyle Kuzma appears to be a hot commodity around the league these days, and several teams are reportedly checking in with the Los Angeles Lakers on his availability.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, teams are interested in acquiring Kuzma, a talented young player with loads of potential.
However, the Lakers may not be so inclined to give him up just yet.
“Several teams are doing their due diligence on forward Kyle Kuzma and viewing whether they can pluck the talented 24-year-old as part of their future from the championship-contending Lakers, but the Lakers value Kuzma as a core part of the future and are focused on making moves around the edges and not a major one, league sources say,” wrote Charania.
Kuzma is a key player for the Lakers, but his early-season struggles have made him a topic of trade rumors.
After coming off of an ankle injury that sidelined him for the start of the 2019-20 season, the 24-year old had struggled to play alongside superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers won regardless of Kuzma’s struggles, making it appear as though he was an expendable piece on the team. In fact, it was reported previously that Lakers head coach Frank Vogel may have had his doubts regarding Kuzma’s fit on the Lakers.
Despite his early-season struggles, Kuzma has been playing much better as of late.
In his last five games, he has averaged 16.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. These numbers are a far better than his first 20 games this season. In that span, he put together a mere 11.1 points and 3.4 rebounds a night.
As Charania indicated, the Lakers are fully invested in helping Kuzma succeed this season and beyond.
“The Lakers found Kuzma with the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA draft and have invested in his growth,” Charania added. “As owners of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, having time to figure out Kuzma’s acclimation to the rotation is a good thing.”
The teams that are asking about Kuzma’s availability shouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers don’t return their calls. He is, after all, still young and could be due for a breakout season in the next year or two.