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Kyle Kuzma: ‘Everyone said I would be a second-round pick or undrafted’

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Around the Los Angeles Lakers, his success as a potential cornerstone alongside Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram is a credit to his dedication and a determined mindset from his life’s journey. In a talented and deep draft full of prospects, Kuzma has become one of the most impressive of them all — a versatile forward with the ability to score inside and outside, pass and handle the ball, and defend and rebound. In 10 games so far, Kuzma has three 20-point games and three double-doubles and is now starting in place of the injured Larry Nance Jr. With the league increasingly valuing positional flexibility, Kuzma translates and has performed better than few imagined. “In today’s game, I feel my talents and abilities work perfectly at any position,” Kuzma told The Vertical.

“Everyone said I would be a second-round pick or undrafted guy, that’s all I heard coming to the draft, but I had a higher faith,” Kuzma told The Vertical. “I knew I was way better than that, better than how people pegged me. After I killed draft workouts and the combine, I knew I would go in the first round. I had a good hint that it would be L.A., just because of the workout and my combine interview with them, but I didn’t know until draft night. I know there’s a lot more work for us to do, but I couldn’t have landed in a better situation and I had to take advantage.”

The Lakers’ selection of Kuzma with the No. 27 overall pick came to fruition not only because of scouting but luck, as well. There were several teams eyeing Kuzma late in the first round, but president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and the team’s decision makers landed an impressive player to round out a promising rookie group that also includes Ball, Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant.

Source: Shams Charania of ESPN

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Sources: Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie Agree to Three-Year Extension

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Spencer Dinwiddie will get $34M over a three-year extension with Nets, league source tells ESPN. There will be a player option on third year, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Multiple Lakers Players Off-Limits in Trade Talks

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Lakers won’t surrender Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kyzma or Josh Hart to Suns for Trevor Ariza, source. Suns turned down a 3-team proposal, source. And 2 sources confirmed Rockets called Lakers 2 weeks ago about trading for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. No deal is imminent.

Source: Brad Turner on Twitter

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Sources: Rockets Interested in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

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The Houston Rockets are emerging as a suitor for Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in multi-team trade scenarios, such as with the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns, league sources told The Athletic.

In desperate search for an upgrade at the wing, the Rockets are targeting Caldwell-Pope, league sources said. The Lakers have pursued Suns forward Trevor Ariza, along with several other contenders, according to league sources.

As the trade market hashes itself out early this season, Caldwell-Pope has several interested suitors across the league, a telling sign for the 2019 free agent.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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