With the 2022-23 NBA season coming to an end for the Los Angeles Lakers after the Denver Nuggets pulled off the sweep in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, the storied franchise had their exit interviews on Tuesday, with some interesting comments made by the players and general manager Rob Pelinka.
As the result of an incredible playoff run, the majority of the players on the team expressed a desire to stay in Los Angeles moving forward, namely Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura.
With a lot of work to be done this summer, Pelinka said that he wants to bring the core of players on the team back for another run next season, which sparked a response from former Laker and current Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma is anything but shy on social media and couldn’t resist blasting Pelinka for his comments about keeping the Lakers core together via NBA on ESPN.
.@kylekuzma's response to what Rob Pelinka said during the Lakers' exit interviews 😅 pic.twitter.com/RrNhCsW8p1
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 23, 2023
After the Lakers won the title back in 2020 in the NBA bubble, Pelinka dismantled the team in the offseason, which resulted in the team bringing in a lot of new faces for its title defense.
After the Lakers failed to live up to expectations the season after winning the title, Pelinka made another blockbuster trade to acquire Russell Westbrook from the Wizards in exchange for Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Ultimately, that trade turned out to be a disaster, with Westbrook simply not being a good fit in Los Angeles, which ended in another trade a year later with the Lakers sending the future Hall of Famer to the Utah Jazz in a three-way deal.
Although the last trade turned out to be good for Pelinka, he has ripped the team apart the last few years after claiming to want to keep the core together.
It’ll be interesting to see if he truly intends to do the same this summer or if another big trade is on the horizon.NEXT: Rob Pelinka Comments On Lakers' Offseason Priority