It was a huge trade deadline for the Los Angeles Lakers this year as the front office dealt away Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In return, the Lakers received Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye as well as a first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Frye and Thomas join a young core that includes Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.
While Ball has been injured, the Lakers have really begun turning things around, winning 12 of their last 16 games, and Kuzma made sure to point that out.
“We’re winning more without him,” Kuzma said following practice this week. As the trade deadline had not yet passed, Kuzma even went so far as to suggest a move to get rid of the Lakers starting point guard.
“I was on HoopsHype earlier and I saw there’s rumors about him getting traded for a bag of peanuts. That would be a good trade.”
Obviously, Kuzma was joking as he and Lonzo are good friends, and the second overall pick is certainly worth more than a proverbial bag of peanuts. Now that the Lakers will have a different look than they did before the deadline, getting everyone together and on the same page will be key to their success the rest of the season.
Head coach Luke Walton had the same idea of everyone sticking together in giving Kuzma some advice on how to treat his point guard.
“Let me tell you something I learned about playing in this league,” Walton began. “You want your point guard to love you. Be best friends with your point guard, take him to dinner. Take the blame when he messes up. He’s the one that sets the table.”
Kuzma seemed to take the advice in stride, responding, “I’m going to take him to dinner when he gets back.” Lonzo, for his part, took the high road and said there was nothing he would trade Kuzma for.
Now that the deadline is passed, neither has to worry about going anywhere.
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