Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, many believe the X-factor for the Los Angeles Lakers will be Kyle Kuzma.
Out of all the Lakers young core, Kuzma is the only one left and is one of the few players on the team with major potential to grow into something greater.
Kuzma has shown himself to be an excellent scorer who can get buckets from anywhere on the floor. Additionally, he has an excellent work ethic and is constantly looking for ways to get better even recently working with Carmelo Anthony.
Kuzma has turned heads since he stepped foot in the league and one player who believes in him is Klay Thompson. Thompson called Kuzma ‘perfect’ for today’s style of game and believes he will be the third All-Star player the Lakers are looking for, according to to Arash Markazi of Los Angeles Times:
“He’s perfect for today’s game with his ability to score on the perimeter,” Thompson said. “He’s really like a three man playing the four. He has to improve his catch-and-shoot ability a little more, obviously playing with LeBron [James] and A.D. [Anthony Davis] now, but I think he’s going to take on that third superstar role and really take off with it. He’s a very hard worker, which is what I like about him.”
Kuzma brings up a very relevant point about Kuzma’s catch-and-shoot ability. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis garnering a ton of attention, there will be open shots available for Kuzma and he has to be able to knock them down consistently.
After shooting 36.6% from three-point range as a rookie, it dropped to just 30.3% in his second season. While he is obviously capable of getting buckets in any number of ways, the ability to space the floor will be of utmost importance considering the roster.
The Lakers frontcourt is loaded with all of the players bringing something different to the table. James and Davis will be the focal points but with DeMarcus Cousins and JaVale McGee looking for minutes as well, Kuzma will have to earn his spot on the floor.
The potential to turn into the third All-Star player for the Lakers is there as is the work ethic and desire, that much is clear to even Thompson. Kuzma will get the opportunity and Thompson believes he will take full advantage of it.