As the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball performed the way most expected he would at the Las Vegas Summer League. The surprising performer was the Lakers 27th overall selection, Kyle Kuzma.
The forward from Utah put on a show in helping lead the Lakers to the Summer League Championship and winning Championship Game MVP. Along the way he showcased an impressive offensive skillset, positional versatility, and defensive potential.
Now as training camp approaches, the question is whether Kuzma can keep up this level of play once the real games start and he very well may be capable. Ball appeared on the Lakers Nation Podcast with Trevor Lane and pointed out Kuzma as standing out in the scrimmages going on amongst the Lakers players:
“I think early on (Kyle Kuzma) did. I mean, I played against him in the Pac-12, but the way he is now, I didn’t know he was like that. He definitely impressed me a lot…He can really shoot. I didn’t know he could shoot like that. He’s way more athletic than I thought he was. Just his all around game, I didn’t know he was like that but he definitely is.”
Kuzma has a lot of competition at the forward spots on this Lakers roster. Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. are basically locks to be in the rotation, leaving Kuzma to battle out with the likes of Luol Deng, Corey Brewer, and Ivica Zubac for regular minutes.
The good thing for Kuzma is that he brings shooting, which the Lakers lack, and can play multiple positions. With Luke Walton wanting to play uptempo, it is possible that Kuzma could be part of a small-ball bench unit. Only time will tell if that will be the case, but if he keeps impressing he will find himself on the court somehow.
Check out the complete interview with Ball on the Lakers Nation Podcast below: