Pacific Notes: Kuzma, Clippers, Frank, Kings

When his name popped up in Anthony Davis-related trade rumors a year ago, Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma followed the NBA rumor mill with interest, but ultimately stayed put even when the team swung a deal for Davis in the summer. Kuzma has once again been identified as a potential trade candidate this season, but he believes he has gotten better at blocking out that speculation this time around, per Bill Oram of The Athletic.

“I consumed it more last year,” he said. “This year is different I don’t care at all, but last year it was new and foreign, so it was like more of a can’t-really-escape-it thing. But for me it’s a little bit easier now. I don’t really have my Twitter like that. I don’t really use it.”

As Oram notes, the Lakers are no longer in developmental mode like they were in Kuzma’s first year or two in the league, and the third-year forward is one of the only young players left on the roster. As such, the club needs Kuzma to be on its timeline, which has put some added pressure on him this season. He has done his best to live up to those expectations.

“Everybody knows that I’m a learner and I want to become a good player,” Kuzma said. “So everybody’s helping me. I think it reflects in my game all the way down from my defense learning from Avery (Bradley), Dwight (Howard), A.D. and offensively just slowing down, develop my pick-and-roll game from other guys.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • The Clippers have moved into a tie for second place in the Western Conference with a 30-13 record, but it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the franchise in the first season of its new super-team era, writes ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. After a first half that saw players express frustration about a lack of cohesion and Doc Rivers express annoyance at inconsistent effort, the club will be looking to put it all together in the second half as the postseason approaches.
  • Chris Iseman of NorthJersey.com provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how Lawrence Frank ascended to the top of the Clippers‘ front office after a long career as a coach. As Iseman details, the Clippers’ current president of basketball operations was initially reluctant to take on the role due to his lack of management experience.
  • The Kings have already made one significant trade this winter, sending three players to Portland for Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver, and two second-round picks. However, they may not be done. James Ham of NBC Sports California previews the trade deadline for Sacramento, exploring what moves could be coming next.
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11 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Kuzma, Clippers, Frank, Kings

  1. GABEPERKINS1

    Kuzma says all the right things.. he needs to be traded.. he doesn’t show up in big games.. 3 of his last 4 were trash.. everytime he comes in, our lead evaporates or when trailing goes up.. he doesn’t play defense.. his iso game is garbage..trying to hard to be Rodman and be Hollywood.. just be consistent.. can’t get yours when team is 20+ down..

    • amk3510

      No such thing as a big game in the regular season for a 1 seed. Reality is Kuzma is streaky and if he can just have 2 big games in best of 7 series theyll be fine

    • Tazza

      Kuzma in his last 10 games has averaged 16-5-2
      The Lakers in the last 5 have won 3-lost 2 (1 point loss to Orlando, and blowout loss to Celtics).

      The Lakers often struggle when he on the floor before that bench unit struggles as a whole. Rondo can’t shoot, Kuzma is streaky, Howard isn’t a shooter, Caruso isn’t amazing, the only other guy is KCP.

      The Lakers aren’t helping him to get better is what it is. Just look at Brandon Ingram now, if Kuzma leaves I’m telling you he’s going to be a near 20 point, 7 rebound, 2.5 assits type of guy, similar to a Danilo Gallo.

      • x%sure

        Kuzma could average 20 on a loser, which is what Ingram is doing. On a winner his flaws stand out and then, like Kevin Love, he will get called on it. Love was amazing on losing Minnesota but was called a lousy defender on title-winning Cleveland. Same guy.

        I saw him frustrate Harden but some say it was the double-team. Anyway the Lakers have Danny G and KCP for that.

        Luke says he represents youth (as a reason for keeping him) but that doesn’t sound like a good reason to me if he can get something in trade.

  2. BloodySox

    Kuzma out hear looking like a rec league Jaden Smith with a bowl of top ramen on his head.

  3. Tazza

    Ingram might look like a good player on a losing team like your suggesting but it could also be his development. Ingram has constant improved his numbers year after year.
    Obviously I don’t expect Ingram to keep this level of play up but I don’t see him turning into a bad player.

    You then compared that to Kevin Love on the Wolves to how he played at the Cavs. It’s worth noting, during Loves time at the Wolves he averaged a total 19.2/12.3/2.5 and while at the Cavs he averages 17.2/10.2/2.2. He went from being the first option on offence to the third, he also drop on average 3 minutes per game. So to say he was amazing on a bad team and lousy on a good team is silly.
    As for defence is hard to judge via stats, but his steals and blocks numbers haven’t really changed over his career.

    • x%sure

      KLove’s D is not a strength, but I didn’t mean to say that KLove is overrated. Just, he gets hanged by a reputation based on his defense playing the finals vs GSW, rather than all the other games. Unfair; glad he got a title out of it.
      —–

      I’m not sure if the “timeline” issue in the Kuzma article is an insider reveal or an outsider’s deduction. If it’s a thing, that may make Kuz ultimately untradable.

  4. Jason Lancaster

    Remember when Jason Kidd hired Lawrence Frank to be his lead assistant coach, and then demoted Frank, and then left the Nets to go to Milwaukee, and then got fired in Milwaukee?

    Seems like Frank had the last laugh.

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