Widely considered the steal of the 2017 NBA Draft, Kyle Kuzma has exceeded expectations through his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
After earning 2018 NBA All-Rookie First Team honors, Kuzma is averaging 19.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 53 appearances. While the 23-year-old struggled with the Anthony Davis trade rumors, there is no denying his talent.
With the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline finally behind him, Kuzma won the 2019 MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Game Most Valuable Player award with 35 points and six assists in just 22 minutes.
After leading Team USA past Team World, Kuzma has high expectations for himself at the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago, IL, according to Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune:
“I want to make the All-Star Game next year. That’s the next level,” Kuzma said. “I have confidence that I can one day be an All-Star in this league. That’s definitely a goal for me, ever since I was a kid.”
As Kuzma has already experienced All-Star Weekend in his first two seasons, making his first All-Star Game appearance in the near future is certainly not out of the question if he continues to produce and the Lakers win more games.
At this early stage of his career, Kuzma’s offensive repertoire is extremely impressive. However, to take the next step, he does need to be more consistent with his defense and playmaking — two areas he has shown potential in.
As the individual accomplishments will come for Kuzma, his focus should be on helping and the Lakers end their five-year playoff drought. While they are three games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, a healthy LeBron James-led team can still compete with most teams.