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#pounditTuesday, September 21, 2021

Kyle Kuzma hints at frustration with Lakers role

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma has been mentioned as a possible trade piece for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, and the big man continues to indicate he would be open to a fresh start.

Kuzma spoke with Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway about the challenges he and the Lakers faced this past season. The 25-year-old said it was difficult for him to play to his full potential with his role always changing due to injuries and other factors.

“My biggest thing is I just want to play within a consistent role,” Kuzma said. “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.”

Kuzma averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season. He moved to the bench last year with the arrival of Anthony Davis and made just eight starts after starting 68 games the year before. Kuzma started 32 games this season because of injuries to Davis and LeBron James. His numbers were strongest when he started as a 4, which is his natural position.

If Kuzma is given a more consistent role, he believes he can be a player who scores 25 or more points per game.

“I don’t really care what nobody thinks or says. I know myself, and I know my ability,” Kuzma said. “It’s hard to be consistent in an inconsistent role. I’m excited for a more consistent space next year.”

The question, of course, is whether the Lakers will be able to provide him with the consistency he is seeking. Kuzma appeared to send a message about his future in L.A. with a big change to his social media profiles last month. It seems obvious that he would welcome a trade, especially now that Davis is under contract with the Lakers for at least three more seasons.

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