After a bit of a slow start to the season, Kyle Kuzma begun to blossom as the Los Angeles Lakers’ secondary scorer alongside LeBron James. With James having missed the past 14 games, and soon to be a 15th, Kuzma has stepped up to help fill the void left.
In similar fashion to his rookie season, Kuzma was particularly prolific during the month of December. Over 15 games during that span, he averaged 22.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
It was clear from Las Vegas Summer League before his first campaign that Kuzma could be something special offensively. A mid-season rookie wall made some skeptical as to whether or not he could be a long-term fit, especially after the signing of James.
However, now it seems as if Kuzma may become the only untouchable member of the young core.In addition to fans, his teammates have noticed just how gifted Kuzma is.
Tyson Chandler recently raved about Kuzma on the offensive side of the ball, going as far as to say he’s never seen a player quite like him, via Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated:
“Kuz does so many things well that he’s hard to gameplan for,” Lakers center Tyson Chandler told The Crossover. “He can drive, he can cut, he’s extended his range. I don’t think I’ve seen a player like him, all the things he can do while being a young guy… I think everyone is excited to see him grow.”
While there are flaws to Kuzma’s game, namely off-ball defense and willingness to pass, it seems as though he’s constantly improving in these areas, making him a near perfect compliment to James.
If the Lakers do end up trading for a big-name player, it would be safe to assume that Kuzma won’t be a part of the deal, becoming what would be one of basketball’s most dangerous third options.
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