Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma continues to prove he is legit

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Second overall selection Lonzo Ball has been all the hype for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, 27th overall pick Kyle Kuzma has been turning the most heads.

Lonzo Ball is easily the most talked about rookie since LeBron James in 2004. While the argument can be made if he is the most talented, the Los Angeles Lakers‘ rookie point guard has every eye in the NBA on him. Ball can give all credit to his father, LaVar, who has done a great job of marketing his son and his Big Baller Brand.

The Lakers were even willing to part ways with 2015 second overall pick D’Angelo Russell to create an avenue for Ball. Before the anticipated surge of superstars, Ball is serving as the face of LA basketball. However, he may have some competition from his draft class peer.

The Lakers had four total picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, three of which were in the first round. Los Angeles had both the Celtics’ and Rockets’ picks, both via trade. With the 27th overall pick, which was originally the Houston Rockets’, the Lakers selected power forward Kyle Kuzma out of Utah.

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The rest, well, it is history. Murmurs of Kuzma being a sleeper pick certainly were present, but 30th overall pick Josh Hart seemed to be the more likely sleeper. Now, as October is in full swing, Kuzma indeed does look to be the sleeper that fans hoped he would be.

First was the NBA Summer League, where Kuzma tore up the opposition. Kuzma averaged 21.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. The critics were quick to say that it was just Summer League and that it is not a true reflection of what Kuzma can do in the NBA.

Kuzma was still expected to come off the bench, possibly moving to small forward to back up Brandon Ingram. However, Kuzma continues to prove his worth and is making a strong case for the starting power forward position.

Kuzma has carried his strong play over to the NBA preseason. In two preseason games Kuzma has scored 42 points while shooting 62.1% from the field. Against a strong forward core on the Nuggets Kuzma dropped 23 points. Critics can no longer point fingers that Kuzma is not performing against NBA level talent – he is.

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Kyle Kuzma will look to have another good game as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Nuggets in the second straight contest on Wednesday, October fourth. The more Kuzma puts together these kind of performances, the more he cements himself as a real threat for opposing teams.