Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma signed a three-year, $40MM rookie scale extension in December. All other players who signed similar extensions before the season got bigger contracts but Kuzma has no regrets, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.
“Of course, guys got paid,” the Lakers forward said, “and obviously as a competitor of who you are as a player, you always look at things like that. But at the end of the day, I love the situation that I’m in. … I know a lot of guys that are making $20, $23, $24 million and they’re not really that happy because they go to work every day, you may not be winning, you have to deal with certain other things. For me, I’m happy.”
We have more from the Pacific Division:
- Kings coach Luke Walton doesn’t mind taking heat if it takes pressure off his players, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. “When we’re behind closed doors and we’re in film sessions and we’re in practices and we’re in team meetings we’re going to be honest and brutal about where we need to get better at, who’s messing up, how do we fix it and we’re going to drill it, drill it, drill it,” Walton said. “But to me, that type of information doesn’t need to be given out in a way that’s going to make any of our players feel bad about themselves,” he said. “That’s not part of the culture we want to build here. … So I’ll take the hits all day long as long as we’re getting the type of work and effort from the players that we need.”
- Suns forward Dario Saric confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 last month, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets. Saric hasn’t played since January 11 and his return was further delayed by an ankle sprain, Gina Mizell tweets. He took a bad step during sprints after recovering from the virus but he was active against Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
- Kevin Durant faces the Warriors on Saturday, the first time he’ll play against his former team in Golden State since signing with the Nets. ESPN’s Nick Friedell takes a look back at what caused the breakup between Durant and the Dubs.