There’s nothing the Lakers have liked more in recent years than reuniting with former Lakers. Done largely through free agency, the franchise has welcomed back the likes of Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard and Dennis Schröder after previous tenures with the team.
Now, though, it appears they may be taking things to the next level. In their search for a wing on the trade market, the Lakers have reportedly reached out to potentially bring back another former player.
For a number of reasons, looking to acquire Kuzma is interesting. First, Kuzma is set to enter unrestricted free agency, meaning this very well could just be a rental for the Lakers.
Secondly, and maybe more apropos, is recent comments made by Kuzma. Recently, he had an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic where he talked about moving to Washington and had some very interesting comments as it would relate to a return to Los Angeles:
“Being in this situation helped out a lot. Here, I’m not playing behind LeBron and AD. Those guys are my position, my type of player, who I am, my style,”
And he’s not wrong! The fit was particularly awkward with LeBron and AD in Los Angeles and while they made it work, it was never a natural fit. Cleaning The Glass backs that point up as, in his final year in Los Angeles, Kuzma played 52% of his minutes at small forward and 47% at power forward. In the last two seasons in Washington, Kuzma has played 91% and 85% of his minutes at power forward.
There’s a familiarity there that could make things work this season and it’s not as difficult with AD outright playing center this season as much as he has. But if they’re looking for any type of long-term commitment, it’s not certain Kuzma would be willing to sign up for that.
Still, with a trade market barren of many talented wings, Kuzma is one of the premiers among them. And considering he’s a former title-winning Laker that isn’t over the hill, fans would likely welcome him back.