The Kyle Kuzma saga with the Los Angeles Lakers continues.
Kuzma’s three years with the Lakers haven’t been the smoothest of rides even after he was a vital member of last season’s championship squad. The 25 year old has been rather inconsistent and his production dipped ever since Anthony Davis’ arrival pushed him in the second unit.
The inconsistency in Kuzma’s game has now apparently resulted to a halt to his contract extension talks with the Lakers. An issue that could pester him all-season long this coming 2020-21 season.
Per Kyle Goon of The OC Register, Kuzma’s extension talks have now been deemed as ‘tabled’. Kuzma and his team apparently talked with Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and FM Rob Pelinka earlier this month and the Michigan native came out of the meeting surmising that he would have to again earn his minutes this season.
Though the front office can still technically meet with Kuzma prior to season tip-off, the same report claims that there aren’t any definite plans of that happening. This is probably the main reason why Kuzma was rather unsure about what his role will be with the Lakers this season, as he spoke with the media earlier this week – even with both LeBron James and AD hyping him up for this coming season.
Obviously, the main focus for the Lakers in terms of their books was securing both James and Davis. Now that they’ve secured both superstars to their respective deals for the next few seasons, there is now little to no room for the front office to further negotiate Kuzma’s extension. The Lakers did have room for an extension this year but it was given to swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who signed a 3-year $39 million deal this offseason.
Kuzma is on the fourth year of his rookie deal and is slated to earn $3.5 million this year with the Lakers. Without any contract extensions, Kuzma will be earning less than newcomers Dennis Schröder ($15.5 million), Montrezl Harrell ($9.2 million) and even Wesley Matthews ($3.6 million).