Lakers news: Kyle Kuzma agrees to sign 3 year, $40M contract extension

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As it turns out, Kyle Kuzma scored at the buzzer.

Late Sunday evening, on the eve of the deadline for players to sign rookie extensions, Kuzma and the Lakers came to terms on a three-year deal worth $40 million.

News of the agreement came shortly after another report suggested that the extension talks were “tabled,” but obviously, the sides were able to work something out that will help Kuzma avoid season-long questions about his future.

Had the extension not come to fruition, Kuzma would have become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. Instead, he and the Lakers have recommitted to one another.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is guaranteed for the first two years, with Kuzma holding a player option over the final year. It gives him the opportunity to opt for free agency following the 2021-22 season if his performance over the next two seasons increases his market value such that it will earn him a higher payday.

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With respect to Rob Pelinka and his staff’s perspective on their current roster, it stands to reason that they are comfortable with committing to the current core — one that happens to be younger and at least similarly talented to the squad that won last season’s NBA Championship.

At least for the next two seasons, Kuzma is expected to flank LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It’s not a bad look for either side considering the fact that “Kuz” emerged as a vital cog in the 2020 NBA Champion’s rotation.