(via Heavy.com)

Most people will tell you that the Lakers paid way too steep a price for Anthony Davis. L.A. had to give up Lonzo, Hart, Ingram, and three first-round picks to acquire an injury prone Anthony Davis who is entering the last year of his deal.

True, it was a hefty price tag, but the Lakers were able to keep Kyle Kuzma — a 23-year-old young stud beaming with scoring potential. Kuzma seems like an ideal fit next to LeBron and Anthony Davis. Is he the best fit? Why were the Lakers so insistent on keeping Kuzma out of all of the young guys?

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN recently explained why the Purple and Gold have taken such a liking towards the former 27th overall pick.

“I also think Kobe Bryant really likes Kyle Kuzma,” Youngmisuk said. “Kyle Kuzma is a guy that has had dinner with Kobe Bryant. Of the three young guys, he exuded more of a mamba mentality openly, and I think obviously Kobe Bryant, who is very close friends with Rob Pelinka, best friends, in fact, for 20 years.”

It seems Kobe Bryant is playing a role here within the Lakers organization. Despite being hands-off in the actual decision making, Bryant’s mentality and opinions clearly mean a lot to Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss.

The former Pennsylvania star is coming off a season averaging over 18 points per game. It will be interesting to see how he plays as a third option alongside LeBron and AD.