Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Upcoming Offseason

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIMay 7, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis reacts after scoring during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

It's unclear how the Los Angeles Lakers will look when they return to the court.

The NBA has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic since mid-March. If the season resumes, the team that went 49-14 and sat in first place in the Western Conference will be allowed to continue its bid for an NBA championship. If the campaign is canceled, though, there could be some big changes within the Lakers' ranks.

This offseason will be an important one for Los Angeles' future as it will have several decisions to make and some deals it will need to negotiate. While its top star (LeBron James) is under contract for next season, the Lakers don't yet have the same security with some other key players.

Will Anthony Davis decline his player option for 2020-21 and become an unrestricted free agent? Could Kyle Kuzma end up on the trade block? Here's some of the latest buzz regarding these topics that could become prevalent this offseason.


Will Davis' future be in Los Angeles?

After getting traded from the Pelicans to the Lakers last July, Anthony Davis became one of the best teammates that LeBron James has ever had. Davis, a seven-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, has lived up to the hype as well, averaging 26.7 points and 9.4 rebounds in his first 55 games with Los Angeles.

However, Davis has a player option for the 2020-21 season worth $28.75 million. The 27-year-old power forward already declined a max extension offer from the Lakers (worth $146 million over four seasons), according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, and it's likely that Davis also wouldn't be interested in accepting his option.

Instead, Davis is more likely to decline his option and sign a new max contract, one that Yahoo's Keith Smith believes will bring him back to the Lakers

"It's just a question of how long Davis' new deal with the Lakers will be," Smith wrote. "If the cap is a concern, Davis could opt for a shorter contract and hit the market again when his max starting salary will push close to $40 million. If the max salary isn't a concern, Davis will sign a long-term deal this summer. He's not going anywhere after spending half a year angling to get to Hollywood."

It's possible the NBA's salary cap won't go up for next season because of the pandemic. If it went down, then perhaps Davis' situation (and that of other players) will change. Regardless, it seems unlikely that Davis will be playing anywhere other than Los Angeles next season.

That should bode well for the Lakers, who should continue to excel with their James-Davis duo leading the way into the future.


Could Kuzma be on the trade market this offseason?

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Although James continues to be a star, he'll be turning 36 in December. Eventually, his career is going to start winding down, and the Lakers will be hoping they can win a title or two while they still have him.

Because of that, Los Angeles may have some urgency to contend for championships and could make moves that will help it be the best team in the short term. Perhaps that will lead to it trading some players who may take some time to develop, such as power forward Kyle Kuzma, who has played a smaller role for the Lakers this season.

In 54 games (seven starts), Kuzma is averaging 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest, both of which are lows during his three-year career. Maybe he'd benefit from a change of scenery, which Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register isn't ruling out.

"If the Lakers now think that Kuzma's development doesn't fit their expedited title window, now even tighter because of coronavirus, it might be as likely as ever that Kuzma (making $3.5 million next year) gets dealt for another piece," Goon wrote.

What would the Lakers trade Kuzma for? That's not yet clear, but they should get a decent return if they decide to do so. Kuzma will be turning 25 in July and has flashed his potential during his three seasons in Los Angeles.