The Los Angeles Lakers have officially re-signed Kyle Kuzma to a three-year contract extension.
The team did not provide terms of the deal that begins for the 2021-22 season, though it is said to be worth $40 million and includes a player option after the 2022-23 campaign. Should Kuzma elect to opt out, he would become an unrestricted free agent at just 28 years old.
“It is especially gratifying for our Lakers franchise to draft, develop and now sign one of our own to a contract extension,” Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said.
“Kyle has shown tremendous growth over the last three years, and played a crucial role on last season’s championship team. Kyle has been a terrific member of the Lakers community and we are all very excited about his continued future with us.”
Kuzma is entering his fourth season after being selected by the Lakers with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He immediately became a fan favorite and future core piece with his offensive skillset, but has since become a reliable wing defender and great rotation piece.
Kuzma also impressed head coach Frank Vogel in training camp and preseason. “The thing that sticks out is how hard he works,” Vogel said. “When you see a guy work that hard, you’re not surprised when they have success on the court. He’s playing at a high level, he’s playing with confidence, he’s really not forcing any action.
“He’s getting his shot within the rhythm of the offense, and you have to honor him. You have to know where he’s at, you have to close out hard to him, and he’s got the ability to make plays with the pass and off the bounce when you push up too much. I’m happy to see him continuing to grow. He’s a big part of what we’re going to do this year.”
Through three seasons in L.A., Kuzma has averaged 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists on 44.9% from the field and 33.1% from three.
Anthony Davis glad Kuzma can avoid contract anxiety
With Kuzma’s extension completed, he can now play out the 2020-21 season without having to worry about how it will affect his contract, something Anthony Davis is particularly excited about.
“It’s good for him. You don’t have that contract anxiety for the whole year,” Davis said. “Now that it’s out the way, he can go out there and play — which he was doing anyway. He was having a great preseason and he played great for us in the bubble and all last year.”
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