Figuring out what went wrong at the Lakers last season is a pretty difficult thing.
Whether you’re pointing out injuries, a poor squad lineup, or just fate, the Purple and Gold seems to have collapsed at its worst.
Thanks to a new report from ESPN’s Jordan Schultz, we have yet another piece of the puzzle of LA’s demise: a feud between Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder that apparently reached new heights during their first-round elimination against Phoenix.
League sources say Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma were feuding throughout the season, with things continuing south during the #Lakers’ first round loss to Phoenix. Interesting note to consider when going into the draft and free agency.
While it is certainly interesting to ponder how their feud could have affected the team’s performance in the playoffs, the Kuzma-Schroder relationship goes even further than a first-round loss.
As Shultz notes in his original tweet, the free agency is just around the corner and the future of Schröder and Kuzma could be at stake.
Schröder will be a free agent this season but there are doubts he will return to the Lakers. Schroder, 27, had a terrible postseason and was blown up by analysts and fans on social media. Worst of all, he’s going to go for a $ 100 million deal with this free agency.
Kuzma, meanwhile, has a few more years under contract, and the only way to get anywhere is through trade. The young stallion is the last remaining member of the Lakers’ infamous young core, but he’s also been hugely disappointing at this stage of his career, averaging just 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game at 44.3 % Shooting.
Whether one or both of these players will return to LA next season remains to be seen. But at least we can expect the franchise to mess things up in one way or another.