Kyle Kuzma reflects on near-trade last year, 2020 NBA Finals berth

Kyle Kuzma
Kyle Kuzma feels fortunate to be playing in the NBA Finals. (Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

Kyle Kuzma has had a full career in his three years with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a surprise pick late in the 2017 NBA Draft. He completed his rookie season giving the team hopes that they had a bonafide stud. The next season he was paired with arguably the greatest player of all-time in LeBron James. Just a few months into the year, he was the center of trade rumors that focused on bringing current teammate Anthony Davis to LA from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Kuzma was not included in the eventual Anthony Davis deal and has since served as a productive reserve. He’s almost made it through his first year of postseason play with a real shot at a championship. Kuz reflected on the journey thus far and how things could have ended differently if he were traded via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:

“I could have been at home enjoying myself right now…to be here, big trade…and decide to put me in the mix to try to win a championship I’m very thankful.”

The Lakers will need Kuz to show his worth in the biggest games of his basketball life. Offensively or defensively, any contributions may tilt the scales for the Lakers. Thankfully Kuzma is not going home for a few more days. If he’s lucky, it’ll be with championship hardware and even more gratitude.

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