At the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball (No. 2), Kyle Kuzma (No. 27), Josh Hart (No. 30) and Thomas Bryant (No. 42).
All the attention was naturally on Ball to begin the 2017-18 NBA season, but the team’s late first-round draft picks established themselves as part of the young core.
With Kuzma earning NBA All-Rookie First Team honors, Hart showed he is more than a 3-and-D player, especially after earning the Las Vegas Summer League MVP Award.
Before the Lakers play the Portland Trail Blazers on the road in the 2018-19 season opener, attention is on NBA 2K19 and player ratings.
Coming off averaging 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in his rookie season, Kuzma will start out with an 80 overall player rating, according to Ronnie Singh of 2K Sports:
— Ronnie 2K 2K19 (@Ronnie2K) August 8, 2018
As for Hart, he will start out with a 76 overall player rating, which is an improvement from his rookie season:
NBA players, your time has come to grab that #NBA2K19 rating. Tweet me and I will drop it to you!
— Ronnie 2K 2K19 (@Ronnie2K) August 4, 2018
After helping the Lakers win at least 30 games for the first time since the 2012-13 season, Kuzma and Hart will be challenged to take the next step in their development with the arrival of LeBron James in free agency.
Although there was an opportunity for the Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard, James personally likes the young core’s potential heading into his 16th NBA season.