Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers are again in motion. Sure, it might have simply been the preseason opener, however they have been again on the court at Staples Center on Friday evening once they beat the Los Angeles Clippers 87-81.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis might not have performed, however a number of the Lakers’ different key players did. And now, they will proceed to organize for the 2020-21 season (set to start Dec. 22) with training camp and three extra preseason contests.
However, Los Angeles additionally has to maintain fascinated with methods to make its roster one of the best it presumably could be—not simply this season, however in years past. James and Davis might now be signed to long-term contracts, however the Lakers may have different key selections to make down the stretch.
Here’s a number of the newest buzz surrounding the Lakers now that the preseason is underway.
Executive Surprised Kuzma is Still in Los Angeles
On Friday evening, forward Kyle Kuzma performed 38 minutes within the Lakers’ preseason opener, tallying 18 points, 5 assists and two rebounds within the victory. Despite some hypothesis earlier within the 12 months that Los Angeles might have been considering trading the 25-year-old, he is nonetheless on its roster heading into the 2020-21 season.
And to some, that won’t have been anticipated.
“I’m surprised Kuzma is still on the roster. I thought they’d be moving him … because of chemistry stuff,” an NBA entrance workplace government just lately advised The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
Yet the new season is lower than two weeks away and Kuzma is with the Lakers getting ready to assist them defend their championship. Although he nonetheless has an unsure future, as he is set to change into a restricted free agent subsequent summer time.
Will Los Angeles sign Kuzma to an extension earlier than then? Could it nonetheless trade him earlier than the season is over? Those are selections the Lakers should make at some point.
Last season, Kuzma’s numbers went down, as he averaged 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 61 games. After principally beginning in his first two NBA seasons, he moved right into a full-time bench function final 12 months.
The Lakers have drastically reconstructed their roster this offseason (outdoors of their core that features James, Davis and Kuzma), so maybe Kuzma may put up higher numbers if he meshes with this group of players. However, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see what Los Angeles decides to do with him for the long run.
Potential Ariza Reunion for Lakers?
Trevor Ariza is coming into his seventeenth NBA season, however he is doing so in a new city. When the 35-year-old forward debuts for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2020-21, it would mark the tenth team he is performed for throughout his career.
Although Ariza has but to play a game for the Thunder, there are already rumors about the place he may very well be headed subsequent. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Lakers are “monitoring” Ariza in case he turns into accessible for a possible trade.
If Ariza was dealt to Los Angeles, it would not be the primary time he’d don the purple and gold. He performed 106 games for the Lakers over two seasons from 2007-09. In his only full 12 months in Los Angeles (2008-09), he averaged 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 82 games, principally serving in a bench function.
Although Ariza is getting nearer to the end of his NBA career, he is proved he can nonetheless be a stable contributor. Last season, he averaged 8.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 53 games (32 for the Sacramento Kings and 21 for the Portland Trail Blazers).
Perhaps Ariza will likely be a fantastic fit in Oklahoma City and it will not have curiosity in doubtlessly buying and selling the veteran forward. However, it’s attention-grabbing that the Lakers are reportedly displaying curiosity in a possible reunion with him, so perhaps it is going to be a deal that develops down the line.