Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant Reveals Why Kyle Kuzma Was ‘Indispensable’ In Anthony Davis Blockbuster Deal

Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

When the Boston Celtics backed out with their pursuit of Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers immediately became the favorite to land “The Brow” in the 2019 NBA offseason. After days of intense trade negotiation, the Lakers succeeded in acquiring Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round picks. Before both sides reached an agreement, it was revealed that the Pelicans were also asking the Lakers to include Kyle Kuzma in the trade package.

However, with no team expected to match their offer, the Lakers stood firm with their decision of keeping Kyle Kuzma on their roster. In a recent appearance on Real 92.3’s The Cruz Show, via YouTube, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant discussed several topics, including the Lakers’ decision to make Kuzma “indispensable” in the Anthony Davis blockbuster deal.

“Probably his versatility and I think the game used to be about having specialists on the floor and I think it’s gotten away from that,” Bryant said, as quoted by Lakers Nation. “They have guys that can play all facets of the game. That includes offensively and defensively. And defensively, he has the potential to be a great defensive player. That’s probably one of the things they looked at as well on top of the shooting ability, the passing ability, and just his size. Yeah, you put it all in the pot and I think it made him indispensable.”

Kobe Bryant definitely has a point. From the time he was selected as the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Kyle Kuzma has shown potential of becoming a legitimate NBA superstar in the league. While most of the Lakers’ young players struggled to make themselves fit alongside LeBron James in his first year wearing the purple and gold, Kuzma managed to establish an impressive performance last season, averaging 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, and 30.3 percent from beyond the arc.

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The Lakers may have failed to sign Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA free agency, but most people believe that aside from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Los Angeles already has a third superstar in Kyle Kuzma. However, in order to elevate his status into a legitimate superstar in the NBA, Kuzma still has plenty of things that he needs to improve in his game.

Kuzma’s development will be vital for the Lakers as it is expected to play a major role in their goal to dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship in the 2019-20 NBA season.