Los Angeles Lakers: Player grades through All-Star break

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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3. Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma has had a large effect on this team. He was valued enough to keep him off-limits in the Anthony Davis trade. He has since struggled to be the third option and Brandon Ingram went on to be an All-Star. Kuzma needs to figure out what and who he wants to be as a player and show that consistency.

On a nightly basis, you have no idea what player you’re going to get. He is struggling to create his own shot, he is not seeming like a good fit for this team at the moment. The problem is his contract is so minuscule that getting back equal value or something similar in the ceiling is hard.

So here we are past the deadline and the Lakers must roll with Kuzma and hope for the best. He has the talent and ability to make that happen. But what confidence will he display to try and make that happen? Some players feed off of it and some crack with the pressure.

His shooting splits are 43.7/33.2/74.3, the FG% and 3-point percentage are both under his career average. He isn’t providing any spacing or playmaking abilities. That’s why the Lakers are looking at buyout options who can create their own offense.

His TS% and eFG% are both the lowest of his career. His win shares of 1.4 are well below his career average. To top it off his BPM is -3.5, which is towards the bottom of the NBA among all qualifiers. The team has a negative effect on both ends when he is on the floor.

It’s been a very disappointing season for Kuzma. If the team brings in Dion Waiters, Kuzma could even be phased out late in games. If that’s the case he could be traded this offseason to get a fresh start.

He has a chance to redeem himself down the stretch and as mentioned the talent is there. He just needs to take that and display it on the floor.

He was tasked with high expectations to be the third star to Davis and Bron. He has also had some injuries to deal with. So it is unfair to fully count him out yet.

I am a believer in Kuzma, people forget he was taken 27th, he wasn’t a lottery pick. If he can recreate some of the magic he showed from the OKC game. This grade will increase dramatically.

The talent is there!


Grade: C