Before free agency has even began, the Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of new faces. Last week they introduced second overall pick Lonzo Ball and this past Wednesday welcomed veteran Brook Lopez. On Thursday it was time for the other three draft picks to be introduced in Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Thomas Bryant.
The first of those selected was Kuzma, a stretch-forward from Utah who has a ton of versatility on both ends of the floor. The Lakers took him 27th overall and he, and the rest of the rookies, have been hard at work in the gym already.
At the introductory press conference, general manager Rob Pelinka spoke about Kuzma standing out in some of the scrimmages and pickup games taking place at the practice facility via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Rob Pelinka said Kyle Kuzma stood out in scrimmages and pickups in the gym past couple days, making great plays, ‘unbelievable passer.'
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 29, 2017
Coming into the draft it was Kuzma’s versatility, shooting, and high basketball IQ that caused him to rise up draft boards. In fact Magic Johnson mentioned Kuzma’s performance at the NBA Draft Combine really catching the Lakers’ eye via Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet:
When Kuzma hit "six or seven" 3s in his only day of scouting combine scrimmages, it definitely added to the Lakers' interest, Magic said.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 29, 2017
It is definitely encouraging that everyone who has been brought in is immediately getting to work in the gym. The young Lakers core has been hard at work and the new additions all seem to be fitting in on that front.
Kuzma has a lot of potential as a player who rebounds well and can shoot from deep and play multiple positions. That he is standing out already could show that he may be the next late first-round pick to turn into a steal for the Lakers, but we won’t get a first look until Summer League kicks off next week.
Last year at Utah Kuzma averaged 16.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 50.4 percent from the field.