The Los Angeles Lakers managed to shift the landscape of the NBA into their favor with the Anthony Davis trade from the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason.
While there had been plenty of anticipation surrounding the trade, the deal still took many by surprise when it finally came to fruition. It seems even Kyle Kuzma was not expecting the news when it had dropped.
The Lakers had long been tied to rumors regarding a Davis trade since during the 2018-19 NBA season. Kuzma was admittedly happy to hear that he was still a part of their new potential dynasty.
Kuzma said during an appearance at the ESPYs thatt he was fast asleep in China when he got the news:
“It’s funny, I was in China while it was happening and it was like 4:30 in the morning at the time. My manager runs into my room and wakes me up and is like, ‘Yo, we’re good.'”
Kuzma’s excitement is certainly understandable considering he had been dealing with some uncertainty after being named as a potential asset in the trade package for Davis. Although he may be parting ways with players that had grown alongside him in Los Angeles, he has good reason to look forward to what is to come.
The fact that Kuzma is the only player left from the crop of promising, young talent the Lakers brought in over the years is indicative of how important he has become to them moving forward. It is safe to say that the front office is relying on the 23-year-old to do his part in helping turn this team into a perennial favorite in the Western Conference.
Fortunately, dealing with pressure has never been much of an issue for Kuzma. He has been overlooked so much throughout his entire basketball career that it is likely endearing for him to finally garner some high expectations from here on out.
The only question that remains is what role he will fill on this roster in the 2019-20 season now that the team’s plans for LeBron James to play point guard have been revealed. There is plenty of speculation regarding how the rest of the starting lineup will shake out and whether nor not Kuzma will be a part of it or come off the bench.
Either way, he should get ample opportunities to help lead Los Angeles back into championship contention.