Kyle Kuzma, Jordan Clarkson top the list — as they should
Jordan Clarkson, A+
Coming into this season, it was uncertain how Jordan Clarkson would work out in Los Angeles. He decided to come back to the Lakers despite offers to play elsewhere when it was his turn at free agency a summer ago.
As a result, he’s proven to be one of the more valuable assets on the team. It hurts to say that, especially given the numbers that he’s put up so far, but with all of the trade talk floating around, it’s hard to understand the Lakers seeing him as anything else.
He’s the third-best scorer on the team with nearly 15 per night, behind only Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram, who also make this part of the list. Not only that, but Clarkson has done so in just 22 minutes on the floor.
Some might think an A+ is too high, but realistically, Clarkson’s the only thing holding the entire drama with Lonzo Ball and LaVar Ball from imploding and making the Lakers look even worse as Lonzo’s shooting woes continue.
Kyle Kuzma, A+
Not enough can be said about what Kyle Kuzma means to this team. He’s proven repeatedly so far that he can make a difference in every aspect of the game, but especially in scoring. He is the best scorer on the team right now, and he’s averaging over 16 points per game.
Kuzma came out of nowhere as the 27th selection in the 2017 draft and as part of the deal that sent former Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn. If anything, he’s played more like the second overall pick than somebody else on the team who actually was.
Expect for Kuzma to be a long-term presence for the purple and gold. This guy is legit.
Brandon Ingram, A-
There’s not a whole lot to bag on Brandon Ingram about right now. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that his game took some time to get figured out, but now he’s making game-winning shots for the Lakers on the road and helping them get huge road wins when it counts.
He sees the second-most time on the court, with just under 34 minutes per game for the Lakers, and he’s tied with Kyle Kuzma for the team lead in point per game. Magic Johnson said over the summer that Ingram’s scoring ability would be a highlight of the season and that he wasn’t interested in trading him.
For the mean time, Johnson was right.