Los Angeles Lakers: How the Roster Changes Will Impact Their Key Young Players

How the Roster Changes Will Impact Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kuzma came out of last year’s draft as the steal of the entire round. Coming out of Utah, he wasn’t used to his maximum abilities. His tendency to create off the dribble with an array of finishes around the basket, particularly his up-and-under and his hook shot, are things that’ll add needed dimensions to the Lakers’ half-court offense.

While coming off the bench for most of the Lakers’ games, Kuzma was able to average over 16 points per game. His ability to score whenever and wherever he wants, especially in the pick-and-roll makes him one of the Lakers’ most important assets going forward. While he still has a lot of room to improve on defense, he provides an effective offensive impact as a stretch-four that could prove to be significant.

The supporting cast that the Cleveland Cavaliers had around LeBron James last season proved to be too off-ball oriented in their impact. There was simply too much pressure on James to be the focal point of their playmaking and having players like Kuzma who can make plays off the dribble in addition to their off-ball impact is essential.

Kuzma will be able to fill an important role when James is not playing too. The Lakers do not have a whole lot of floor spacing options at the power forward spot, and that’s where Kuzma comes in. The Lakers should not lack playmaking from their perimeter after the spree of acquisitions that they made this summer and that spacing from the four spot will be critical.

Having a scorer like Kuzma will also allow the Lakers to hunt favorable matchups at practically every position depending on the lineups that they are using. Some teams won’t be able to have a modern power forward with sufficient foot speed to stay in front of him or to close out on him when he is spacing the floor. There are other times when switching will occur, and Kuzma can use his size to exploit miss matches.

Next Up: How the Roster Changes Will Impact Brandon Ingram

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