Rob Pelinka has highlighted the Lakers’ desire to stay young, highlighted by moves made to acquire Dennis Schröder (27 years old) and Montrezl Harrell (26 years old). Those two will become key rotation players surrounding Anthony Davis (27 years old), the newly re-signed superstar of the next five years for the Lakers. In addition to the deals made to attain/keep Schröder, Harrell, and Davis, the Lakers have decided on another extension in addition to LeBron James’ that will keep the Lakers youthful over the next few years, as they have reportedly signed Kyle Kuzma to a three-year extension worth $40 million, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Kuzma will have a player option on the final year of the new deal.
Last week, it was reported that the Lakers had “tabled” extension talks with the fourth-year forward but the two sides seemingly came to an agreement before Monday’s deadline.
The deal will surely be polarizing amongst Lakers fans, as Kyle Kuzma is generally one of the more polarizing young players in the NBA. His perceived value can range drastically among NBA fans, as many probably discredit Kuz due to him being an “Instagram” kind of guy or whatever people say. Either way, Kuzma had a good year albeit in a role that didn’t require his usual shooting habits that he exhibited in the first two seasons of his young career. Although his shooting efficiency and volume regressed last season, he improved tremendously on the defensive end, basically becoming known for his contributions on that end throughout the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
Kyle Kuzma was due to become a restricted free agent in the 2021 offseason, the first free agency of his career, but he will instead stay in Los Angeles as the first drafted Laker to be re-signed or extended since the Lakers plummetted to the bottom of the standings in the waning years of Kobe Bryant’s career. Even though this is true, keep in mind that Kuzma’s contract is now more tradeable than his previous contract, as it has a greater number attached to it that may easily match the salary of a player the Lakers may want in the future.
Forget that for now though, let’s get excited for some more time yelling “Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz” on some made threes! Congratulations, Kuz!