The Los Angeles Lakers have an exciting new player to take minutes at power forward in Kyle Kuzma, but somehow his ascendance has led to a dampening in enthusiasm for the other two young players the team has at the position.
Before Kuzma’s ascendance during Las Vegas Summer League and the NBA preseason, Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle were considered the Lakers’ future at the four spot and while some still do, Kuzma has undoubtedly cut into some of that belief.
Former Lakers forward A.C. Green didn’t go quite that far during a Lakers Nation exclusive interview, but he did mention that he really likes both Nance and Randle’s games:
“They both are hard workers, they both try and play with a second and third effort. That’s something I can appreciate in that position,” Green said. “Larry is a good team defense kind of guy, and that’s very much needed. I like them. I like the growth potential from when they first worked out here to where they are now. I’ve had fun working with them and supporting and encouraging them to keep working and not settle.”
Neither Nance nor Randle did settle over the offseason. Nance has come into the year noticeably bulked up, while Randle slimmed down over a summer that saw him basically transform into an Instagram model through his intense workouts with his personal trainer.
As Green mentions, both players have shown potential since the moment they joined the Lakers, and the upcoming season will be a big campaign for both of them.
Nance has gotten off to a great start, averaging 14 points and nine rebounds in the Lakers’ first two games and solidifying his spot as the starter. Randle has struggled so far but looked improved during the preseason and has plenty of time to make an impact for this team.
Both players’ careers could go in just about any direction from here, and it sounds like Green is excited to see where they go.