He’s not far off from being a better shooter
Ben Simmons, like Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo, doesn’t really have a jump shot but has still found a way to let his dominance show. This, when exercised good enough, helps hide the flaws in both of their respective games.
When it comes to Kuzma, he’s a forward that can shoot from most places on the floor, and he can absolutely finish in traffic. Bleacher Report writes with more details about Kuzma’s ability to make contested shots thus far:
"Shooting 64.8 percent inside 10 feet, Kuzma has also done a good job of finishing in traffic. He’s making 71.4 percent of his attempts when his defender has been within two feet (very tight) and 55.2 percent when he’s been 2-4 feet away (tight)."
If he can use that type of shot-making ability to be an even more ferocious presence on offense, Kuzma can kill at least two birds with one stone. The first accomplishment would be taking over as the primary scorer on the team.
Brandon Ingram has failed to do that, even with his slight improvements, and Lonzo Ball is a far cry from that conversation. Jordan Clarkson has done more than his far share of scoring buckets, but with his name circulating in a potential trade package sooner or later, it’s hard to say how much Clarkson really means to LA’s front office.
Not saying that it’s the right way to deal with a guy you signed to a $50-million, multi-year deal — but hey, to each their own. This only emphasizes the fact that Kuzma brings a piece to the Lakers that they would have truly never had if the D’Angelo Russell trade didn’t go through.
Secondly, he would establish himself as a play maker who can work more with what he’s got. Kuzma’s role on the floor is different from a point guard like Simmons in that he’ll get usually taller defenders and, in some cases, have no choice but to take the hard shot.
Simmons has definitely made it clear that he’ll be tough to beat overall in this year’s rookie class, but with this particular skill set, Kuzma can do it.