As part of the deal to acquire Anthony Davis, the Lakers sent most of their young core packing. Giving up Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple-first round picks, it was a huge trade deal that changed the Lakers forever.
A year later, and only one member of their young core remains: young forward Kyle Kuzma. As he helps his team compete in the Finals this season, he looked back on the famous deal that sent many of his peers packing for New Orleans.
“I could have been at home enjoying myself right now,” Kyle Kuzma said, via Silver Screen and Roll. “That’s the biggest thing for us, to be here obviously. Like you said, big trades, having AD come here, and decide to put me in the mix to try to win a championship and be a part of a championship team, you know, I’m just very thankful for it.”
Despite how hectic things have been for the NBA, and the Lakers especially, the team finds themselves on the verge of an NBA Championship -- and Kuzma says he's enjoying every moment.
“It’s been super fun, especially for me,” Kuzma added about the Lakers’ playoff push. “I’m just trying to live in the moment. I’m trying to play possession by possession and come in with energy. Get stops. Guard guys. Just help my teammates. That’s all I can really ask for. I’m out there competing, and it’s been fun. Playing in the NBA Finals is a dream for me. I love it.”
Win or lose, this has been a successful and inspiring run for the Lakers, and one they are not soon to forget.
This season, Kuz averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists on 43.6% shooting. He didn't win any awards with those numbers, but he played an important role for this team and, the hope is, that he can continue to grow and strengthen his game as time moves forward.