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Kyle Kuzma on Lakers Trade Rumors: 'You Can't Control It. ... It Don't Matter'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Kyle Kuzma (0) warms up prior to an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

Kyle Kuzma has been the subject of trade rumors leading up to Thursday's deadline, but the Los Angeles Lakers forward isn't dwelling on the possibility of being dealt. 

Per Sports Illustrated's Melissa Rohlin, Kuzma addressed his mindset Wednesday. 

"I really don't care, honestly," he said. "You can't control it. If I get traded, I get traded. It don't matter. I'm still going to play basketball. I'm still going to play the game I love. I'm still going to be paid."

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the New York Knicks have had exploratory talks about trading for Kuzma.

While it's unclear whom the Knicks might send to Los Angeles, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that New York ownership has made Marcus Morris available. 

The Lakers seemed to indicate Kuzma was part of their long-term vision. They refused to include him in their discussions with the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis over the summer. 

As this season has gone on, though, questions about Kuzma's fit with this version of the Lakers, led by Davis and LeBron James, have come up.

CBS Sports' Sam Quinn noted the 24-year-old has the second-worst net rating—ahead of only Rajon Rondo—among the team's regular rotation players, and the Lakers outscore their opponents by 8.7 points per 100 possessions when Kuzma is on the bench. 

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Kuzma is averaging career lows in minutes (25.0), points (13.1), rebounds (4.4) and assists per game (1.1) this season. He's also shooting a career-worst 43.7 percent from the field. 

A first-round draft pick in 2017, Kuzma has one more season on his rookie deal worth $3.6 million. He will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2021 with a qualifying offer of $5.3 million. 

The Lakers are in win-now mode with James and Davis playing at an MVP-caliber level and leading them to the best record in the Western Conference (38-11) at this point in the 2019-20 season. 

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