Kyle Kuzma finished with 1,242 points to place fifth on the Los Angeles Lakers all-time rookie scoring list. Elgin Baylor’s 1,742 points scored are most by a Lakers rookie in franchise history.
Following Baylor and ahead of Kuzma are George Mikan (1,698 points), Jerry West (1,389) and Magic Johnson (1,387). Kuzma’s final point total was impacted by a sprained left ankle forcing him to leave the April 6 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves early in the third quarter.
He went on to miss the final three games of the season, in part to also dealing with a sprained right ankle that was suffered in mid-March. Kuzma appeared in 77 games (37 starts) and tied with Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle for the team lead with 16.1 points per game.
Injuries limited Ingram to 59 contests, while Randle appeared in all 82 games, which Lakers head coach Luke Walton said was an accomplishment that deserved plenty of praise.
Although Kuzma did not ascend to the top of the Lakers’ all-time rookie scoring list, he did become the franchise’s first player with at least 30 points in a game on a Christmas Day game of a debut season, as he poured in 31 points against the Timberwolves.
Moreover, the versatile forward broke D’Angelo Russell’s record for most 3-pointers made by a Lakers rookie in a single season. Kuzma’s four 30-point games this season were the most a Lakers rookie since Johnson equaled that total.
Kuzma’s 20 consecutive games with at least 10 points was a first by a Lakers rookie since Johnson had that many in 1979-80. Kuzma was also the franchise’s first rookie with consecutive games of 20 points and 10 rebounds since Johnson.
It should be noted Kuzma’s accomplishments aren’t limited to Lakers history as he also became the first rookie to ever tally a minimum of 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 130 made 3-pointers.