Over the next nine days, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to do everything they can to pry Anthony Davis away from the New Orleans Pelicans. In other words, everyone not named LeBron James is going to be involved in some Lakers trade rumors, including Kyle Kuzma.
There are executives around the league that believe Kuzma has the highest trade value among the team’s young core, so naturally, the Pelicans are reportedly asking for the 23-year-old forward in any offer for Davis. While the Lakers would almost certainly like to keep their second-leading scorer, it’s hard to imagine anyone deeming anyone “untouchable” for Davis, who is only two years older than Kuzma.
Unlike his teammate Josh Hart, Kuzma said he has heard the rumors about him, and he told reporters after practice on Wednesday that he is actually flattered by the interest (via Lakers.com):
“This is my first go-around with that type of stuff, but it’s always a good thing when you’re in trade rumors, that’s what everybody always says. It means you have value, that means potentially you’re going to be in this league a long time. People want you.
“For us it’s about controlling what you can control, because at the end of the day, it’s a business. You can’t control your destiny in this league but you can control your work ethic and how great you want to be. You can be great anywhere.”
With that in mind, Kuzma reiterated that the rumors don’t both him:
“I couldn’t really care less, honestly. Control what you can control. I can play basketball anywhere.”
That mindset has been crucial to Kuzma’s success in the NBA so far, and there’s no reason to believe that he’ll take a step back if he is indeed traded before trade the deadline on Feb. 7. That same mentality is also the reason he would be missed by so many Lakers fans.
Since he was drafted with the No. 27 overall pick in 2017, Kuzma has been dedicated to improving his game, whether it’s been through watching film or hitting the weight room extra hard. He’s worked for all of the success he’s enjoyed during his time in Los Angeles, and when his shots are falling, he’s one of the most exciting players on the team to watch.
If the price of getting Davis is Kuzma, then it’s hard to argue it’s not worth it, but there’s no denying that it will sting a little bit to lose a player that took so much pride in wearing the purple and gold.
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