During this year's NBA draft, all the talk in Los Angeles was centered around star point guard Lonzo Ball out of UCLA. The Lakers had their eyes on the 6'6 guard for quite some time, with Lonzo's father LaVar guaranteeing that Lonzo would start his career with the Lakers. The NBA draft rolled around, and just as Mr. Ball predicted, the Lakers were lucky enough to select Ball with the second pick.
Amongst all the hype though, almost no attention was paid towards the Lakers other first round pick, that is until Summer League. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka selected Kyle Kuzma out of Utah with the 27th pick via the Brooklyn Nets. Kuzma was a relatively unknown name in college, playing three years for the Utah Utes, finishing with college career averages of 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 30.2% from deep.
That's why, when Kuzma began to light it up in the Summer League, people began to take note. And surprisingly, Kyle's level of play has carried over to the preseason, as indicated by his stats through three games.
In 27 minutes per contest, the forward is averaging 21 points per game on a whopping 65.7% field goal percentage, and an even crazier 47.1% three-point percentage. His scoring is so efficient, that his points output rises to 28 PPG per 36 minutes, an advanced statistic that measures what a player's stats would look like if they were given starter minutes.
This leaves the Lakers with a very good problem. Luke Walton already has two young up-and-coming power forwards on the roster in the form of Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr., the latter of which who is competing for the starting spot over Randle. Adding Kuzma into the mix makes things very interesting, as the Laker's frontcourt rotation is now very young, very skilled, but overcapacity.
It'll be intriguing to see where coach Walton and Magic Johnson fit Kuzma into their future plans, as 'Kuz' is shaping up to be a dark horse contender to make an All-Rookie team as the 27th pick.