July 31, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Kyle Kuzma agrees to 3-year, $40-million deal with Lakers

The Lakers have agreed to a contract extension with forward Kyle Kuzma, keeping him on a three-year deal that will pay him close to $40 million. Kuzma will have a player option after the second year of the extension, sources with knowledge of the deal told The Times.

Kuzma, 25, would’ve been an a restricted free agent this summer had he not signed an extension prior to Monday’s deadline.

“It’s good for him,” Anthony Davis said after learning of the extension.

The No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Kuzma is the lone remaining link to the Lakers’ painful rebuild. After becoming a lead offensive option as a rookie, he’s slid into a complimentary role primarily off the bench, averaging 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds last season.

An inconsistent (but willing) shooter, Kuzma has made just 30.8 percent from three-point range over the last two seasons, though his improvement on defense and his aggressiveness on offense have offset the variances from deep.

Kuzma started all four of the Lakers preseason games and averaged 17.5 points while hitting 41.7 percent from three.

“Next dinner on you for sure,” LeBron James tweeted in response to the news.