Future comes early for Lakers and Kyle Kuzma
By Bill Oram
LOS ANGELES – The Lakers always believed the 2017 NBA draft would be a night that the franchise would take a big step into the future. They just had no idea how much of that would have to do with Kyle Kuzma.
What began in summer league and continued through the preseason has not faded nine games into the regular season. Kuzma, the 27th pick in the draft, has been one of the Lakers most dynamic players and their second-leading scorer, averaging 15.7 points per game.
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And after a 21-point performance in Friday’s win over Brooklyn, he appears poised to start at power forward for a long, long time. Every time he unleashed a 3-pointer, the arena erupted into drawn-out shouts of “Kuuuuz!” waiting for the ball to fall through the net.
“Not too many players have a whole arena do that in their NBA career,” Kuzma said.
The Lakers have grown accustomed to delayed gratification with their draft picks, ever since Julius Randle broke his leg on opening night in 2014. D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, even Lonzo Ball, all needed time to get accustomed to the NBA.
Not Kuzma. The 22-year-old rookie has been among the Lakers’ most consistent players, shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 35.7 […]