The Lakers have picked up their fourth-year option on forward Kyle Kuzma, the team announced today in a press release. The move ensures that Kuzma’s $3,562,178 cap hit for the 2020/21 season is now fully guaranteed.
A stress reaction in his left foot has jeopardized Kuzma’s potential availability for opening night, but he’s expected to be a key contributor for the Lakers this season once he returns to action. Although the 24-year-old averaged 18.7 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 70 games (33.1 MPG) last season, he struggled with his efficiency, knocking down just 30.3% of his three-point attempts.
With Anthony Davis and LeBron James drawing significant attention from opposing defenses, Kuzma will have to make open looks at a higher rate in 2019/20, and he sounds confident he can do just that. He suggested in August that he believes he’s capable of becoming the Lakers’ third star.
With his fourth-year option locked in, Kuzma will now be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason. If he doesn’t sign a new deal at that time, he’d remain on track for restricted free agency in the summer of 2021.