The Los Angeles Lakers emerged from the 2017 NBA Draft with four draft selections, as Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant each had their lifelong dreams fulfilled. Upon getting acclimated to coach Luke Walton and the front office, these young Lakers had a tremendous showing during the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League.
While Ball was named the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League MVP, Kuzma also notched the Finals MVP award as the Lakers topped the Portland Trail Blazers during the championship game. After being selected No. 27 overall, Kuzma has emerged into one of the steals of the 2017 Draft.
The NBA invited 39 rookies to participate not only in the rookie photo shoot, but also in the annual rookie surveys. During this questionnaire, rookies are asked to predict how their draft class will pan out in categories such as biggest steal or best NBA career. Another category to pop up was the best shooter of the rookie class, with Kuzma cracking No. 4 on the list.
Detroit Pistons forward Luke Kennard was voted the best shooter of the 2017 class, earning an outstanding 48.6 percent of the tally. Malik Monk ranked second on the list with 13.5 percent, while Terrance Ferguson earned third place with 10.8 percent. Kuzma finished tied for fourth place with Tyler Lydon of the Denver Nuggets at 5.4 percent.
After a phenomenal offseason thus far, Kuzma has seen the fruits of his labor turn into a favorable situation. He was promptly signed to a Nike shoe contract after his breakout performance, while also being voted amongst the biggest steals of his draft class.
Kuzma shot 32.1 percent from three-point range in his final season at Utah. He impressed scouts and executives at the NBA combine by knocking down a bunch of shots in a row, seeing his draft stock rise and ultimately landing with the Lakers.
He took that shooting ability to a whole new level in Summer League, ranking second in the league at 26.0 points per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the field. He scored 30 points in the championship game, shooting 11-of-16 from the field and 6-of-10 from three-point range.