From the moment Davis requested his trade, it was absolute pandemonium on the team’s side until the trade deadline passed and at that point, the damage in the locker room had been done. Everyone not named LeBron James had been involved in at least one fictional trade package while the team was sliding out of the Western Conference playoff picture.
This season, things are a bit different. The Lakers front office is far more poised with fewer leaks and drama coming out. However, Kuzma still finds his name getting brought up in potential trades. Because of his inconsistent fit with this roster, he’s likely the most valuable piece the Lakers have in any trade.
Kuzma reflected on last season’s craziness at the deadline, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic:
“That was a weird day,” Kuzma said Monday. “Before trade deadline it was weird, you knew something was going to happen but you didn’t know what was going to happen. But like after the deadline it was like you’ve got to play a game.”
Since then, Kuzma’s thought process about being involved in these rumors has flipped completely. This season, he no longer cares about his name being included:
“I consumed it more last year,” he said. “This year is different I don’t care at all, but last year it was new and foreign, so it was like more of a can’t-really-escape-it thing. But for me it’s a little bit easier now. I don’t really have my Twitter like that. I don’t really use it.”
This is a way better mindset for Kuzma to have, especially since he needs to focus on finding the consistency in his game that would make him an untradeable asset. The reason he’s even in trade talks is because of the worry that he might not be a win-now piece on a win-now team.
Either way, it’s good to know the trade rumors won’t be affecting Kuzma’s play this season. This means that should Kuzma not be traded, it won’t affect the rest of this season when the Lakers will need him to be great.