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Lakers' Kyle Kuzma Says Regularity of Trade Rumors Was 'Annoying'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, left, and forward Anthony Davis slap hands during an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press

Kyle Kuzma spent his first two NBA seasons as the subject of near-constant trade rumors. He found the process "annoying."

Now that he's seemingly stable with the Los Angeles Lakers and enjoying his first winning season, Kuzma says the 2019-20 season has been "a blast."

"It's a lot less stressful going home every night when you win than when you are losing," Kuzma told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. "It brings a lot more joy to you. ...

"It's fun. It's different. Those guys just demand so much attention on the court. ... Efficient easy shots are there for the taking. It's been a blast. You can't really compla

Kuzma was in trade rumors around the deadline of last season as part of the Lakers' package for Anthony Davis, who is now his teammate. He's the lone remaining member of the franchise's prolonged rebuilding effort, with fellow draftees D'Angelo Russell, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Mo Wagner having been traded either for Davis or in cost-cutting moves designed to add veteran pieces.

While it likely feels good to be winning, it's hard to say Kuzma is out of the trade woods yet. He's an awkward on-paper fit with LeBron James and Davis and has come off the bench for 20 of his 21 appearances this season. The Lakers have, however, blitzed opponents in the minutes featuring all three players.

Fit questions aside, Kuzma is the Lakers' most valuable remaining asset on the roster. Trading him for a veteran guard who can score off the dribble and defend might be worth consideration as the Lakers try to fill out their playoff roster.

To this point, there have been seemingly no discussions about trading Kuzma. The Lakers are 24-6 and running away with the top spot in the Western Conference. However, they have also lost three straight heading into their Christmas Day matchup with the Clippers.

If this scuffle turns more into a trend, it wouldn't be a surprise if Kuzma finds himself annoyed again come February.