Kyle Kuzma’s skill
This might be a rude assessment of the skill level of an NBA player, but Kuzma simply isn’t as good as his contract figure suggests. The 25-year-old is still an excellent NBA bench piece and deserves the chance to prove himself as a member of the Lakers, but when the team became a contender, he never progressed into a third star.
The front office was forced to act accordingly, bringing in numerous supplemental pieces to mitigate the loss of what their expectations were for Kuzma.
Kyle Kuzma showed some defensive prowess in the bubble at times last season, but it was largely because of his pure effort on that end of the floor. Kuzma has always been a very hard-working player on offense, but he has always been a negative asset on defense. If he can flip the script on himself, he might be well worth what the Lakers are paying for him.
Kuzma needs to regain his three-point shot to fit the mold of the Lakers’ offense again. He is no longer in a position as the focal point of the offense with a rebuilding team. If the young forward can find that shot, he becomes an integral piece of the offense once again.
The Lakers simply do not need him to be a guy who barrels down the line — they have LeBron James and Anthony Davis to do exactly that. However, if the Lakers’ two superstars know they have a guy that’s a reliable shooter in the corner named Kyle Kuzma, the production and efficiency should go up.
The Utah product can also make further strides with his rebounding as he continues to get bullied in the paint as an NBA player. He is the perfect example of a ‘tweener’, someone in-between positions.
Kuzma doesn’t have the strength to bang bodies in the post as a power forward and does not have the quickness to defend or play the three offensively. So, he plays both as a tweener.
For someone who isn’t even a semi-star, the Lakers are paying quite a bit.