With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, Los Angeles Lakers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
While not a guarantee to start come opening night, Kyle Kuzma represents one of the Lakers’ most promising young players. Although he’s not as polished as Brandon Ingram, he might have the highest ceiling of any Laker not named LeBron James.
Kuzma, the No. 27 overall pick a year ago, is the prototypical big man for the modern NBA offense. He has the athleticism to score in the paint among big bodies, but the stretch power forward also has the skill to capably shoot three-pointers.
At one point during the 2017-18 season, Kuzma was a strong contender for the Rookie of the Year Award. His development will largely dictate the Lakers’ potential. If both Ingram and Kuzma can emerge as reliable options for LeBron, Los Angeles can expect to make a strong playoff push in the Western Conference.
"We are both definitely excited about the roster and the pieces that we have," Kuzma told ESPN. "And we think that a lot of people are underestimating us. It is definitely going to be fun playing with all these new guys."
Last year, Kuzma averaged 16.1 PPG and 6.3 RPG. A 45 percent shooter from the field, Kuzma would like to up his three-point average from 36.6 percent–right around the league average.
LeBron should be able to help Kuzma off the floor as much as on it. The future Hall of Famer can show Kuzma how to best utilize his athleticism to become a force in the frontcourt.
For more Lakers news and tickets to select home games, keep it here on AXS.com.