KEY POINTS

  • Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo could be out of the Lakers next season
  • Kuzma was on his way to his top form when the NBA suspended the season
  • The Lakers might look for a better backup point guard to replace Rondo

The 2020 NBA Season has yet to resume, but reports about what is about to unfold for the next season is slowly beginning to make its waves.

The Los Angeles Lakers were a hot commodity in the rumor mill this year concerning moves to their line-up. Save for few acquisitions from the free-agent market, the Lakers roster remained intact heading to the late stages of the season, shutting down the earlier reports of players being sent away. Or maybe not.

The previous hot topic about player releases from the Lakers camp is starting to heat up anew as Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo could be on their way out of Los Angeles, a report said.

The third-year forward from Michigan was inch by inch getting back into his groove following a series of injuries that hampered his game early in the season. But just as when he was on his way to peak form, the NBA had to take an emergency hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The tough break is another setback for the 24-year-old rising star who is considered as the Lakers’ third-best option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With uncertainties surrounding the league right now, LA’s front office is somehow given enough time to ponder on possibilities for next season, and perhaps they could gather the right amount of reasons to finally let go of Kuzma.

“Things haven’t gone as planned for Kuzma this season, but he has shown flashes. However, those flashes might not be enough for a team that is contending as they cannot waste whatever LeBron James has left,” Kenneth Teape of Fansided’s Lakeshow Life wrote. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they looked to move him again during the offseason. Kuzma will be entering the final season of his rookie deal, which means the Lakers would have to commit to extending him in 2021. If they don’t believe he is worth an extension, looking to move him before the 2020-21 season begins makes sense.

Meanwhile, Rondo being placed on the edge as Kuzma is not quite as surprising for one obvious reason: the veteran point guard’s age.

At 34, Rondo has thrived into the back-up point guard role with the Lakers since James took the primary duties at the one position. While he could still flash his on-court savvy and top-notch playmaking skills from time to time, the 14-year veteran is simply not the same as he was years ago.

“Expecting Rondo to keep up the production of James would be unfair. It is not something anyone in the world can do. However, Rondo has been a weak link more often than not this season,” added Teape. “He will likely pick (the 2020-2021 player option) up, but it shouldn’t deter the organization from looking to upgrade the position and moving on from Rondo as their backup point guard.”