Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma will emerge as LeBron’s favorite target

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

The Los Angeles Lakers welcome LeBron James with a young core with a ton of upside. As the year develops, Kyle Kuzma will stand out the most.

The Los Angeles Lakers present LeBron James with a challenge that he has never faced before. While James has been the clear-cut leader of every team that he has played, he has never led a young team like this.

James is entering the veteran stage of his career despite still being the best player on the planet. While James has been an elder statesman of the league for a few years now, this is the first time in his storied career that he coming in as the veteran locker room presence.

For the Los Angeles Lakers, this presence is obviously a big deal as the young core in LA has as much potential as any team in the league. The core four of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart could all be all-stars.

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Having the guidance and experience that comes with playing with LeBron James is going to help each of those four reach their ceilings and reach them in a quicker manner.

Of the four, Brandon Ingram is widely regarded as the one with the most potential and the one that is most polished as he is entering the third year of his career opposed to the sophomore seasons that the other three are entering.

And while Ingram does seem ready to score 20 points per game and will likely be used to take the load off LeBron in scoring, he will not be his favorite target throughout next season.

Instead, that role will go to Kyle Kuzma, who shares the same player mold that LeBron has played with for most of his career. What Kuzma excels at is exactly what LeBron loves in his targets.

First and foremost, Kuzma is a stretch-four that is capable of finishing strong at the basket as well as spacing the floor. That makes him a dangerous pick and roll or pick and pop option for LeBron when he is running the offense instead of Lonzo Ball.

Kuzma’s athleticism will make the Lakers best fastbreak option and the added focus on Ingram and LeBron will open the door for Kuzma to get better looks. While Ingram may score more a game as a result of dimes from Ball and creating his own offense, out of the entire young core, most of LeBron’s dishes will go to Kuzma.

That is why players like Chris Bosh and Kevin Love were brought in with LeBron James and why Larry Nance Jr. was the most impactful of the trade acquisitions the Cavaliers made last season. LeBron thrives in playing alongside athletic fours; Kuzma is set to be one of the most athletic fours in the league.

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Kyle Kuzma has already emerged as the speaking head of this Los Angeles Lakers core as it welcomes LeBron James. As the season goes along, people will begin to talk about how good of a duo James and Kuzma really are.