Trying to figure out what went wrong with the Lakers this past season is a pretty tough thing to do.
Whether you point to injuries, poor roster construction, or simply fate, the Purple and Gold seemingly collapsed at the worst possible time.
Thanks to a new report by ESPN’s Jordan Schultz, we have yet another piece to the puzzle of L.A.'s downfall: a feud between Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder, which apparently reached new heights during their first-round elimination against Phoenix.
League sources say Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma feuded throughout the season, with things going further south throughout the #Lakers’ first-round series loss to Phoenix. Interesting note to consider heading into the draft and free agency.
While it's certainly interesting to think about how their feud might have impacted the team's performance in the playoffs, the relationship between Kuzma and Schroder has even broader implications than a first-round loss.
As Shultz notes in his original Tweet, free agency is right around the corner, and the future of both Schroder and Kuzma could be on the line.
Schroder is set to be a free agent this season, but there is some doubt that he will return to the Lakers. Schroder, 27, had an awful postseason and was put on blast by analysts and fans all over social media. The worst part is, he'll be seeking a $100+ million deal this free agency.
Kuzma, meanwhile, is still under contract for a few more years, and the only way he'll be going anywhere is via trade. The young stud is the last remaining member of the Lakers' infamous young core, but he's also been majorly disappointing at this stage of his career, averaging just 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game on 44.3% shooting.
Whether one or both of these players will return to L.A. next season remains to be seen. But, at the very least, we can expect the franchise to shake things up one way or another.