The Los Angeles Lakers continue to lock up key contributors from their recent run to the title. First, the Lakers extended LeBron James' current contract, and then they signed Anthony Davis to a new deal in free agency. Now, the Lakers are taking care of Kyle Kuzma.
On Sunday, Kuzma agreed to a contract extension with L.A., the team officially announced. The extension is for three years and $40 million, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal also includes a player option for the 2023-24 season, so Kuzma will be under team control through the 2022-23 campaign.
Kuzma, 25, is entering his fourth season in the NBA and holds career averages of 16 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. After starting all but two games during the 2018-19 season, Kuzma was relegated to a reserve role last season following the addition of Davis, and though it was an adjustment, he made the most of the opportunity. Moving forward, Kuzma isn't exactly sure what to expect when it comes to his role with the team, though the contract extension certainly shows that the Lakers are committed to him.
"I have no idea," Kuzma said of what he expects his role to be with the Lakers this season, via the Los Angeles Times. "We'll see... I just think in my career my role has changed kind of every year. So, for me, I've had to adapt my game and figure out ways to affect the game in different ways, much more than other guys on that trajectory."
The way Lakers coach Frank Vogel sees it, Kuzma is going to be expected to put up points for the Lakers, regardless of whether he's starting or coming off of the bench.
"He's still going to be asked to carry a scoring load when he's out there, to make the right play offensively while being in attack mode and being very aggressive and to continue to be a big body that can guard multiple positions for us," Vogel said of Kuzma. "Where that lands, whether he's starting or coming off the bench, is still to be determined. But we have a great luxury with Kyle, with a lot of guys on this team, that have experience doing both."
Now that he has a bit of long-term security, Kuzma will be expected to continue his development, and in turn, continue to be a key contributor on a Lakers team with title expectations.