DJT Jumpshot Mailbag: Potential, Kawhi Leonard, and Houston

(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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DJT Jumpshot Mailbag: Potential, Kawhi Leonard, and Houston
(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

We kick off the DJT Jumpshot Mailbag series with multiple questions about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers, along with the Kawhi Leonard saga and the Rockets.

Let’s get straight into the first edition of the DJT Jumpshot Mailbag. On Twitter, we asked many of you Lakers fans about the possible best player of the Lakers in the next few years. The results may surprise some people.

I view Lakers Nation in four different aspects, which I guess differs depending on your point of thought. There’s the Brandon Ingram faction, the Lonzo Ball club, the Kyle Kuzma social media followers, and the other part where they want Kobe Bryant to come back. Let’s get into the analysis.

I was shocked at how many people selected Kyle Kuzma, who finished just 10 percentage points under BI.

Kyle Kuzma is one of my favorites in the NBA. He is hilarious and fun to watch, no doubt. He was arguably the brightest point in a confusing season. Though he was never game-changing like Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell, Kuzma always placed himself in Rookie of the Year talks. Kuzma’s game will continue to develop. Whether he develops a defensive game or not, is the question.

Lonzo Ball is a wild card with two very different outcomes. He averaged Draymond Green-like statistics his rookie season. [Now do not try to say that Lonzo Ball is better than Draymond. It is an utter lie that will be put down by all analysts and casual fans].

Ball experienced arguably the toughest rookie wall ever in the first one-and-a-half months or so as a rookie. He then showed what he could be after minor knee injuries. I, again, am surprised so few of the fans who voted decided to go for Lonzo.

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However, in my opinion, I agree with the 45 percent of fans who voted that Brandon Ingram will be the rising star from this developmental class of purple and gold. Both Simmons (21) and Ingram (20) are very young, but the debate between both is just getting started. I agree that Simmons is the better overall basketball player right now. Anything can change.

Simmons is a timid jump shooter. He rarely shoots mid-range shots, he does not have a 3-pointer and is shooting off-hand. That would be a problem in 2007, for example when LeBron James was running with Zydrunas Ilgauskas at center. For Simmons, running with unicorn Joel Embiid is never a problem. Embiid’s magnetic pull on defenses gives Simmons easier running lanes to the rim as well as passing outside.

Shooting for Ingram drastically improved from his rookie year. According to Second Spectrum, BI’s 3-point shot was more efficient. He shot 41.1 percent on catch-and-shoot situations and more than 40 percent on pull-ups. Ingram also showed he could generate points on offense at the point forward slot, as his scoring was more efficient than Simmons this season. Whether he can improve on every other dimension of his game to become better than his 2016 classmate.

As for Randle, he clearly excelled in many facets of the game like never before. The 2014 draftee appears to have earned himself a contract. With who, though, is a question waiting to be unfolded this summer.