Lakers: 2 players that will exceed expectations and 2 that won’t

Aug 10, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers' Kyle Kuzma (0) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a game-winning 3-pointer against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. at AdventHealth Arena. The Lakers won 124-121. Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 10, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers' Kyle Kuzma (0) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a game-winning 3-pointer against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. at AdventHealth Arena. The Lakers won 124-121. Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

Some Los Angeles Lakers will step up in 2021, others won’t.

The Los Angeles Lakers have the best superstar duo in the league and a stacked roster to go along with it. Rob Pelinka somehow managed to make this roster better than it was last season and last season’s team was good enough to win the NBA Championship.

The roster is surely going to be made better by some step-up performances as well. Every season we see NBA players take their game to a new level from the year before and the Lakers will be no different.

However, not everything is positive in Lakerland and there will be players that also fail to live up to their expectations. The Lakers will be just fine because of their depth, but I would not be buying stock on two players on the roster.

Here are two players that won’t live up to expectations and two that will.

Won’t meet expectations: Kyle Kuzma

Below is the Tweet that created this article idea. I am glad LeBron James believes in Kyle Kuzma, because if he didn’t, I am not sure how many people would.

LeBron knows more about being good at basketball in just the tip of his pinky than I do in my entire body (my shot might be broke but I am a GREAT locker room guy) but I just cannot see how Kuzma takes that next step on the Los Angeles Lakers with his skill set.

Based on how the roster is configured it appears as if Kuzma is going to slot in as the primary wing player off the bench, meaning that he is going to need to provide adequate defense and a reliable shooting stroke.

The problem is that Kuzma is not great at either of those things. Kuzma is at his best when he is utilizing his athleticism and is attacking the basket, not as an off-ball shooter and wing defender.

Perhaps Kuzma could take that next step on another team but we already saw his production dip heavily in Anthony Davis‘ first year on the team and I do not really see that boomeranging. So really, we are saying that Kuzma will fall short of King James’ expectations.