As soon as Kyle Kuzma recovers from a stress reaction in his left foot, he will join the Los Angeles Lakers for his third NBA season, but his first where he must be an All-Star level player on a championship-contending team.
An NBA player’s third season and especially one who impressed in their first two is one of the most important. It’s the season where people either fully buy into the player or give up on them.
During this third season, the Lakers must decide if they want to offer Kuzma a contract extension during the 2020-21 NBA season or let him enter restricted free agency.
However, Kuzma isn’t too worried about a contract extension. He says that he truly loves this game and would even play it for free, meaning that how much money he makes and when he gets it is likely the farthest thing from his mind as he enters his third season, according to Kyle Goon of Orange County Register:
“Honestly, I still haven’t thought about a contract extension or anything: I would literally always play this game for free,” he said. “That’s my mindset. I’m kind of just a businessman by default. I do things because I like it, and it keeps my mind working and moving.”
Kuzma is focused on what he wants to do off the court as a means of having fun and growing his brand, and that involves being a producer for films. That was part of the reason why he went with CAA to represent him as his agents:
“For me, I want to get into film, motion pictures,” he said. “I want to produce things. I want to make sure my foundation does well, and (CAA) has a great foundation department. So it’s just a whole bunch of resources my team can use to get themselves better, but also help me out along the way too.”
Kuzma has always been known for his great on-court play and his infectious off-court personality. Him wanting to get into film and production should hardly come as a surprise to anyone.
What’s equally unsurprising is his nonchalance towards a new contract extension. Kuzma is someone that’s been underappreciated his whole life as a player and when that’s the case, proving he belongs in the league takes precedence over the money.
Kuzma will likely get paid decent money, and it will most likely be by the Lakers. But until then, fans, media, and teams will be thinking about that far more than Kuzma will.