Being a lottery pick in the NBA doesn’t qualify a player for automatic stardom, however it’s proven that players make a name for themselves through opportunity.
Entering his third year in the league, Forward (F) Kyle Kuzma has made it known that he has no fear on a basketball court. “If you believe in yourself and you work as hard as possible, anything can happen…” said Kuzma per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. With Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart traded, the Lakers have confidently shown they kept Kuzma for a reason.
Kuzma has shown flashes of stardom, as he added a MVP accolade to his name during the 2017 NBA Summer League final. He also brought the Lakers a championship win. Now he looks to be the last piece to a potential Los Angeles Lakers ‘Big 3’, alongside (G/F) LeBron James and (F/C) Anthony Davis.
So, far he’s averaged 17.4 points per game (PPG), 5.9 rebounds per game (RPG), 2.7 assist per game (APG) and a 14.4 player efficiency rating (PER), according to ESPN. His numbers don’t scream stardom however he’s more than capable of getting his own shots, playing off the ball, defending positions 1-4, and his willingness to play whatever role necessary.
Former Head Coach (HC) Luke Walton didn’t give Kuzma the foundation he needed to put up high numbers. He was moved too off-and-on from starter to bench player, then vice versa.
Although, now Kuzma will be coached by Frank Vogel, who has helped players like Paul George emerge into a superstar.
With the new additions the Lakers made this offseason, it’s almost clear the Kuzma will be the leading sixth man for this team. Center (C) DeMarcus Cousins, Davis and James fill out the front court as starters. Kuzma has waived off any odd feelings about not starting rather he’s stayed adamant on sticking to his game. By doing this, he’s going to eventually be in the conversation if not take the sixth-man of the year award in the 2019-2020 NBA season.
On the break, Kuzma will bring wing shooting, and floor spacing. As expected newest Point Guard (PG) James has the most familiarity with Kyle and the chemistry will be off the charts. When Davis is on the court at the same time as Kuzma , he will be able to make back-door cuts as well as three-pointers with ease. His 6’9 frame gives him a advantage over most small forwards in the league, so he’ll be eligible to impact the game on both ends.
Predictions for Kuzma is that he’ll eclipse 22 PPG, 6 RPG, 4ASP, and 15 PER. Kuzma has the confidence to play in L.A. with two of the top-5 players in the league and the capability to make noise that’ll rock the Staples Center.
So, to question him being a third star would be foolish. As long as he is given minutes, he’ll flourish like (F/C) Chris Bosh and (F/C) Kevin Love did.
Although, his potential exceeds the likes of those two, so get ready for Kuzmania’s break-out year in Hollywood.