With their second first-round pick in the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers took Utah’s Kyle Kuzma.
Part of the haul for the Los Angeles Lakers’ trade with the Brooklyn Nets included the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. With that pick, the Lakers selected Kyle Kuzma, a potential two-way player. Keyword: potential.
No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball will received most of the buzz, but Kuzma — while being a project — adds versatility to a team who’s trying to build a team that can compete in pace and space, which has a heavy focus on the ability to switch on defense.
Kuzma is listed at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot wingspan. He’s long, and can hopefully stretch out to the 3-point line. His multidimensional attributes coupled with his hustle could have him well on his way to being a solid rotation player for the Lakers in the future. His rebounding ability — he averaged 9.0 rebounds last season at Utah — is a commodity that will stop opposing possessions and create extra ones on offense.
However, there’s a reason he was chosen at 27. Though he has good measurables for being a good defender, he struggles on both ends with consitency. He has lapses of awareness on defense and has issues with closing out on shooters. On offense, he struggles to shoot off the dribble, which could severely box him into 3-and-D as his ceiling.
But, like it has been said, Kuzma is a project. And with the trajectory of the Lakers, as they attempt to build a deep roster that can support free agent stars they plan on attacking like LeBron James and Paul George, players like Kuzma can go a long way to solidifying that plan.
Check out The Lake Show Life for more Los Angeles Lakers NBA Draft analysis.