Lakers News: Latest on L.A.'s Coaching Moves, Kyle Kuzma's Future and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2021

Lakers News: Latest on L.A.'s Coaching Moves, Kyle Kuzma's Future and More

0 of 3

    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Lakers had hoped to be playing in the NBA Finals this year. However, they were jettisoned from the playoffs in the first round by the Phoenix Suns, who have a 2-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks in the championship series.

    While the Lakers might not feel ashamed about losing to a team that may well win it all, the no-longer-defending champions will hope to be back in the title mix for the 2021-22 season. However, getting there is going to take some work.

    If the past season taught us anything about the Lakers, it's that the tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis isn't enough. Both stars suffered injuries that heavily affected the season, and Los Angeles didn't have the supporting cast or the depth to overcome those setbacks.

    Some parts of the organization are already going to be different. Assistant coach Jason Kidd left to take the Dallas Mavericks job, and Los Angeles hired David Fizdale to help replace him. More coaching moves could be on the horizon, and at least one player has stated that he's looking for a different role moving forward.

Lakers Interested in Brooks, Could Lose Hollins

1 of 3

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Fizdale should be a fine addition to the Lakers' staff, and the team appears to be interested in adding further names to the staff. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Los Angeles also interviewed Scott Brooks for an assistant position.

    On Friday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Brooks was finalzing a deal to become the Portland Trail Blazers' top assistant to new head coach Chauncey Billups.

    Brooks most recently served as head coach of the Washington Wizards. Before that, he coached the Oklahoma City Thunder. He would have added plenty of high-level experience to the coaching group while adding some connections to possible free-agent and trade targets.

    Finding another new face for the coaching staff could become more of a pressing need for the Lakers. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Kidd might not be the only member of the staff to depart.

    Per Charania, Lakers assistant Lionel Hollins was on the Trail Blazers' radar for the top assistant role, so it's possible he could field similar offers in the coming weeks. 

Kuzma Looking for Defined Role

2 of 3

    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    Kyle Kuzma signed a contract extension last offseason, but he remains arguably Los Angeles' only viable trade chip. Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported in May that L.A. tried to deal Kyle Kuzma before the trade deadline.

    ESPN NBA insider Marc J. Spears recently noted that Kuzma "looks" like he's on the way out of Los Angeles (h/t NBA Central).

    Kuzma did little to dispel the notion that he would welcome a new playing home. He said the following about his desired role and his role in L.A. in a recent interview with Bleacher Report's Tyler Conway:

    "My biggest thing is I just want to play within a consistent role. If I have that ability, I'll be able to showcase what I can really do. There were parts of this year—and even anywhere else in my career—when I'm in a consistent space, I'm out there handling the ball, making teammates better, scoring, shooting, defending, rebounding. I think if I'm in that space, I'll be good."

    It's unlikely that Kuzma will get the opportunity to "showcase" what he can do with James and Davis as the Lakers' focal points. He may indeed hope to land with a team that can make him into a face of the franchise.

Dennis Schroder Hoping to Play for Germany

3 of 3

    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    Dennis Schroder was offered an extension with the Lakers during the season. However, the prized offseason acquisition declined it and is scheduled to hit the free-agent market, so Los Angeles could look to move Schroder in a sign-and-trade.

    "They have Dennis Schroder. That's going to be their biggest free-agent piece that they have. Either you bring him back or you use him in a sign-and-trade. I expect the Lakers to be open to either possibility," NBA insider Charania reported for Stadium.

    For the time being, Schroder appears focused on trying to land a spot on the German national team after it officially qualified for this year's Olympics.

    "I'm always available, but my situation is not that easy. But I hope we can sort that out by then. My agent has to do his job now. The German national team has done its job. Let's see," Schroder told Zeit Online (h/t USA Today).

    Schroder has stated his desire to return to the Lakers next season.