Last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers made Kyle Kuzma untouchable on the trade market with the belief that he would help LeBron James and Anthony Davis bring the team back to title contention. Unfortunately, since the start of the 2019-20 NBA season, Kuzma has failed to live up to expectations and has been noticeably struggling to co-exist with James and Davis on the court. As of now, most people believe that it will only be a matter of time before Kuzma and the Lakers head in different directions.
If Kuzma is still available in the summer of 2021, Tony Pesta of Fansided’s Blue Man Hoop sees the Golden State Warriors as one of the NBA teams that would try to steal him from the Lakers in free agency.
“Kuzma has done his best to buy into his new role but playing in Davis’ shadow has been rough at times. He was at his best when he was playing consistent minutes at the four alongside James. This season, Kuzma started in only seven games and played many more minutes at small forward. Consequently, his numbers have dipped significantly and he has been torched on defense by quicker opponents. The Warriors could target Kuzma when he becomes a free agent next season. Kuzma would be a nice addition to the Dubs if he is able to refind his jump shot and begin hitting with consistency from the 3-point line again.”
Targeting Kuzma makes a lot of sense for the Warriors as he would be giving them a player that could help bridge the gap to a new era of basketball in Golden State when Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are no longer in their prime. Despite some of the inconsistencies in his game and lack of experience, Kuzma would still be a huge help in achieving the Warriors’ goal of reviving their dynasty and winning more NBA championship titles.
Though he struggled to make himself fit with legitimate superstars like James and Davis, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing would happen once he starts playing alongside the trio of Curry, Thompson, and Green. If Kuzma managed to replicate his 2018-19 NBA season performance in Golden State, he would undoubtedly become an incredible addition to Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr’s rotation.
However, it remains a big question mark if Kuzma will still be available in the free agency market in the 2021 offseason. If the Lakers don’t believe that he fits with their long-term plan, it is highly likely for them to try trading Kuzma this fall or before the 2021 February NBA trade deadline, rather than lose him in next year’s free agency without getting anything in return.