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Kyle Kuzma Says He Was 'Shocked' Lakers Traded Him to Wizards; Expected Kings Deal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 6, 2021

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Kyle Kuzma is a member of the Washington Wizards after the Los Angeles Lakers traded him this offseason, but to hear the forward tell it, he is "shocked" he wasn't dealt to the Sacramento Kings.

Kuzma explained his surprise to fubo Sports:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Kuzma thought he was getting traded to Sacramento 👀<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/fuboSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fuboSports</a>) <a href="https://t.co/HwB1jE739k">pic.twitter.com/HwB1jE739k</a>

He was moved as part of the deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Lakers, which generated the majority of the headlines. After all, the nine-time All-Star is joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis on a team with realistic title expectations that will be under the spotlight throughout the season.

How Westbrook jells with James and Davis on the court will be a major storyline this season as the Lakers attempt to win their second title in three years.

As for Kuzma, he likely won't be playing under championship expectations in Washington like he did when he was a member of the Lakers. The Wizards lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers with Westbrook and will be hard-pressed to even replicate that without the two-time scoring champion.

Perhaps Los Angeles could have netted someone like Buddy Hield in a deal with the Kings, but Westbrook is far more accomplished and surely hungry for his first career NBA title.

As for Kuzma, he will likely be a featured piece of the Wizards offense alongside Bradley Beal after playing more in a secondary role with the loaded Lakers. He averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three-point range last season.

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He made drastic improvements from the outside compared to when he shot 31.6 percent from deep in 2019-20, and whether he can build on that will be important in Washington given how much attention Beal draws on the offensive end.

For now, though, he is still surprised he isn't suiting up for the Kings.

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