Kyle Kuzma entered the league as a rather unknown prospect. Even so, he was the best young player in the Los Angeles Lakers by a long stretch. And that's why they decided to hold on to him despite multiple trade rumors throughout the years.
Fast-forward to the 2021 offseason and it was clear that Kuzma had already reached his ceiling. He was a serviceable two-way player but was never going to step up the way the Lakers needed him to do.
The Lakers eventually traded him to the Washington Wizards in order to get Russell Westbrook. Nonetheless, most people -- including him, thought that he was going to end up with the Sacramento Kings instead.
Kyle Kuzma Thought He Was Going To The Sacramento Kings
“I was kinda shocked because I thought I was going to Sac," Kuzma said on Gilbert Arenas' No Chill Gil Podcast. "[The trade for] Buddy Hield, that sh*t was done. I’m thinking in my head ‘Okay, well, I’m in Sac’–45-minute flight, not bad. But then out of nowhere, it goes ‘you’re going to Washington."
“I was super-hyped, obviously, because it’s a better situation. Going to Sacramento would’ve been fun, I would’ve went crazy for sure. But to have the opportunity to play with Brad Beal–someone that is trying to really be a winner in this league–is just the perfect opportunity,” Kuzma concluded.
Kuzma wasn't always appreciated by Lakers fans. Now, he'll get the chance to get a fresh start, have a bigger role, and play with less pressure on his shoulders. Mabye that's just what he needs.
But this story sheds light on the cruelest part of this business. Not even the players know where they're heading to, and some of them even find out on social media. It's kind of sad, but it is what it is.
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