Originally the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Kyle Kuzma is already maximizing his on- and off-the-court opportunities in just his third season.
As Kuzma is currently dealing with a stress reaction in his left foot which occurred with Team USA, he was a sneaker free agent and numerous companies expressed interest.
Following two seasons with Nike, there have been multiple reports about the 24-year-old likely signing with Puma.
Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Kuzma has signed a five-year endorsement deal with Puma to become a face of the company, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 2, 2019
Kuzma reportedly will receive $3 million per season over the next five, according to Marc Stein of New York Times:
The deal with @PUMAHoops that the Lakers' Kyle Kuzma finalized last week will pay him in the $3 million range annually over the next five seasons, industry sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 2, 2019
During Kuzma’s brief time in Los Angeles, he is viewed as the steal of the 2017 NBA Draft and has established himself as a fan favorite at Staples Center and on the road.
While Kuzma was involved in the initial Anthony Davis trade discussions, the Lakers did not include him the second time and he is the only member of the team’s young core now.
As Kuzma is expected to be a part of the team’s future, this is a significant step for him off-the-court. However, Kuzma understands he needs to perform on the court in order to continue building his brand in the second-largest market.
With the Lakers preparing for the Golden State Warriors, the immediate concern is Kuzma’s injury, which he described as ‘serious, but not serious’ at 2019 NBA Media Day recently.
Since Kuzma will not receive an MRI until the Lakers return from China, there are numerous questions about his role and their ability to quickly build chemistry without him.
With Anthony Davis wanting to play more power forward than center during the regular season, it suggests Kuzma will likely be the team’s sixth man. While this would be a significant individual sacrifice, Kuzma understands how important he is to them regardless if he starts or not.