Lakers Rumors: Kyle Kuzma Parts Ways with Agents Mark Bartelstein, Zach Kurtin

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIIJuly 20, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Kyle Kuzma attends The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Kyle Kuzma was the only member of the Los Angeles Lakers' corps of promising young players to remain with the team in the wake of the blockbuster Anthony Davis trade, and now the 23-year-old forward is making moves elsewhere.

"With an eye toward growing his business interests, Kyle Kuzma is parting ways with his agents, Mark Bartelstein and Zach Kurtin of Priority Sports and Entertainment, according to sources," Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported Friday evening. "He hasn't started meeting with prospective agents yet."

"I wish nothing but the best for Kyle," Bartelstein told Ganguli. "This was simply a situation in which it became clear our visions were not aligned. When that is the case, it simply does not make sense to continue our partnership. Once again, I want nothing but great things for Kyle."

Kuzma signed with Priority Sports after he decided to skip his senior season at Utah and enter the 2017 NBA draft, ESPN reported at the time. The 6'9", 220-pounder was drafted in the first round at No. 27 overall.

Kuzma has averaged 17.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists with 45.3 percent shooting from the field (33.5 percent from three) across 147 games (105 starts) for the Lakers.

Ahead of the 2019-20 season, Kuzma's new teammate Davis and new head coach Frank Vogel spoke about his importance to the team.

"Any time I've played against him, it was always great battles," Davis said, according to Lakers Nation. "He can shoot it, he can stretch the floor, he can put it down, he can finish, has some post moves. I'm very excited about playing alongside him.

Vogel shared the same sentiment:

"Kuz, I couldn't be more impressed with him in all aspects. Everything he's able to do on the basketball court, I'm going to push him to really reach his potential on the defensive end. We know he can fill it up and score in every way imaginable. He's shown to me early on that he's very, very approachable. His attitude is a 10 out of 10, he's a team-first guy. He's going to be a major factor for us and play a major role for us."

While Kuzma's decision to change agencies reportedly hinged on a desire to expand his business ventures, there is still plenty of unfinished business to tend to on the court.

Especially with Davis in the fold alongside LeBron James, all the pressure is on the Lakers to contend for a title after they posted a disappointing 37-45 record last season and missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.

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