The Los Angeles Lakers have a ton of young, promising talent on the roster, which has the franchise and fans excited for what may come next season. The first opportunity for fans to check out the young talent comes at the Las Vegas Summer League.
Last year the Lakers won the championship thanks to Lonzo Ball, who earned Summer League MVP honors, and Kyle Kuzma, who was Championship Game MVP. Both showed flashes during the regular season of what they may become in the future, but, as second-year players, some wondered if they would make an appearance in Vegas.
That question was answered as President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson made it clear that neither will suit up in the summer.
“We’re not gonna play [Lonzo] in the Summer League. Kyle Kuzma will not play in the Summer League either,” Johnson said during exit interviews on Friday. He did note a couple of players who would be on the floor before explaining why Lonzo and Kuzma won’t play.
“Josh (Hart) will play. We will have Thomas (Bryant) playing. But we want [Ball and Kuzma] in the gym, working with weights, working on their games so they won’t be playing in Summer League.”
Transforming his body is one of the key improvements for Ball this offseason. He missed 30 games this season and getting stronger will help with that along with allowing him to better finish in the paint through contact.
The same thing was seen this past season with Brandon Ingram, who was much more effective in the paint after adding some muscle to his frame. Both Lonzo and Kuzma are crucial to the future success of the Lakers and an appearance in Las Vegas really isn’t necessary for either.
The team should still be an exciting one with Hart, Bryant, the two-way players Alex Caruso and Gary Payton II, the team’s two draft picks, as well as possibly players who made appearances this season like Travis Wear and Andre Ingram.
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