The Los Angeles Lakers have a ton of intriguing young talent heading into the 2017-18 regular season. Much of the focus has been on the likes of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Julius Randle, but one very interesting player is rookie Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma burst onto the scene during the Las Vegas Summer League, winning Championship Game MVP honors while leading the Lakers in scoring.
The versatile forward has been working on getting accustomed to the small forward position which may yield him more minutes than his normal power forward spot.
With his speed, athleticism, and shooting, Kuzma has a lot of potential to thrive in today’s NBA. That is not lost on his teammate Ingram who admitted to being very hard on Kuzma because he sees the potential in him via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Brandon Ingram said one of his teammates that he gets on is Kyle Kuzma "because I see the player than he can be."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) September 26, 2017
Some of that is already showing in the Lakers’ first practice of training camp as Lakers reporter Mike Trudell says Kuzma was one of the players to stand out:
Was told Julius Randle, KCP and Kyle Kuzma stood out in a defensive drill late in practice. Big emphasis on defense all morning from Luke.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 26, 2017
Standing out on defense is undoubtedly a great way for Kuzma to get himself consistent minutes as a rookie. His versatility is a strength which is why the Lakers are working on him playing small forward, and if he can guard both positions he will be a big piece of the rotation.
It’s also great to see Ingram stepping up as a leader in this situation. He sees the potential in Kuzma and wants him to realize it. As a leader on the team, Ingram feels it’s his job to push the rookie and Kuzma should be better for it.