The biggest surprise for the Los Angeles Lakers this summer has not been Lonzo Ball, but rather their other first-round draft pick — Kyle Kuzma. The 6’9″ forward out of Utah when under the draft radar and has already proven himself as perhaps the greatest steal of the 2017 NBA Draft.
Kuzma won Most Valuable Player honors in the Summer League championship game and has led the entire NBA in scoring through four preseason games. Nobody expected this type of play out of Kuzma besides himself, and according to Jamieson Welsh of Believe the Hype, he has always believed in himself as a capable scorer:
“Just my work ethic. In college people said I couldn’t shoot. I knew I was a better shooter than I did in college. I really just tried to be disciplined and focussed on my work ethic and tried to dial in on certain things and that’s really opened up my entire game.”
Kuzma’s work ethic has certainly paid off and he will likely earn some serious playing time when the regular season begins. With a logjam at power forward on the Lakers roster, Kuzma was not expected to play very much this season, but he has outplayed every forward on the team to this point.
Ball and Kuzma developed a great chemistry on and off the floor over the summer and they hope to carry that into the regular season. With the regular season just over a week away, it will be interesting to see if Kuzma cracks the starting lineup.