Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma wasn’t traded, what happens now?

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Lake Show Life would like to kill a few myths about why Kyle Kuzma is playing with the Los Angeles Lakers!

Los Angeles Lakers myth:

The Lakers could’ve moved Kyle Kuzma in the offseason in the Anthony Davis trade. However they kept him because of the inexpensive contract and he plays well with LeBron James.

Plus, he is the only member of the young core not bothered by the pressure of being a Laker. He can handle the spotlight and doesn’t shrink in big moments of a game, something Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart struggled with last year. 

Los Angeles Lakers’ truths:

These narratives are hilarious at times based on the fact that they leave out very important facts. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the odds and moved up to the 4th spot in the NBA lottery.

If you are David Griffin of the New Orleans Pelicans, what’s more valuable? Kuzma or the lottery pick? If you said lottery pick, two points for you. If the Lakers had stayed at their original position, the Pelicans would have taken Kuzma too.

If he plays so well with LeBron James, what happened in less than six months that has divided Lakers Nation on trading this guy? As for the spotlight? That might not be a myth.

The Dennis Rodman starter hairdo kit and wardrobe shows that he has gone Hollywood. As for the rest of the young core, that Brandon Ingram dude (Another player the NBA 2K experts wanted out!) seems to be doing all right in the “Big Easy”.

Los Angeles Lakers myth:

Based on the stats, Derrick Rose, Marcus Morris and Davis Bertans can offer more to the Los Angeles Lakers than Kyle Kuzma to make a title run. New York and Detroit made offers? Why didn’t the Lakers make the deal? 

Los Angeles Lakers’ truth: 

We’ll get to the NBA collective bargaining agreement in a second. Let’s just deal with the hardwood for now. The Los Angeles Lakers are as of this writing 41-12 winning their matchup against the Denver Nuggets. They have already surpassed the win total of 37 from last year. Which leads to the question.

What’s the problem with these fans wanting a trade so bad?

It is very clear that the Lakers have multiple issues on the roster, nobody is debating that. But thinking trading away Kuzma is not the magic pill to make this team stronger by playoff time. All of the potential deals for Kuz were without a piece that would fill the role he had on the roster. Dealing with one issue could end up creating two or three others like the deals from last year.

Now let’s go upstairs to Rob Pelinka’s office and look over the books.

Kyle Kuzma only makes $1.9 million this year, the going rate for being the 27th pick in the draft a couple of years back. Yes, there are people treating this guy like a top 5 pick. The only way to make a trade that brings comparable up-gradable talent, is to add more players to match the  salaries.

Derrick Rose makes $7.3 million. Marcus Morris makes $15 million. Even Davis Bertans, the shooter theoretically needs makes $7 million. Under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the Lakers would need to get to 75% of these players’ salaries to make the trade legal. In short, the Lakers will have to include one, check that, two players in order to make the numbers work.

Maybe we all need to stop treating Kyle Kuzma like an All-Star.

The way he’s playing, Kuzma is not going to be an All-Star alongside James. But he is clearly a talented offensive player and he could be the Lakers version of Lou Williams. It’s funny the Clippers just look at the positives of their players and not the negatives. The Lakers don’t need Kuzma to be an All-Star to be valuable to the team.