Kyle Kuzma has excelled in his function for the Los Angeles Lakers even when the stats don’t present it
Kyle Kuzma deserves each penny of his $40 million extension for the Los Angeles Lakers, though his factors and minutes are down this season. If solely the field rating mattered, Hassan Whiteside would have gotten a max contract this offseason. Kuzma’s immense contribution to the Lakers this season is way over simply his stats.
Kuzma has developed this season into his finest function on the workforce. He was as soon as Hollywood personified: the solely “survivor” in the Anthony Davis commerce, the anointed third star to enrich LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the frontcourt, the snazzy dresser who has loved the whole lot LA has to supply.
Kuzma has now embodied his roots in the blue-collar metropolis of Flint, Michigan. Like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble earlier than him, this Flintstone brings it each single evening. He realized final season he has to learn to play behind each LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who’re firmly entrenched at Kuzma’s two finest positions, small ahead and energy ahead, respectively.
Kuzma might have been the go-to scorer proper now on the Sacramento Kings if he needed to play like a star. By signing the $40 million extension with the Lakers, he signaled his dedication to turning into a task player for the remainder of his Lakers profession.
This season, he’s realized to maneuver with out the ball with a view to get his buckets. His three-point capturing share is up almost three share factors from final season as a result of he is getting significantly better appears inside the stream of the Lakers’ offense. His protection has stepped up significantly. He has crashed the offensive glass with a renewed fervor.
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There are significantly better candidates for the NBA’s Most Improved Player this season (Jerami Grant and Julius Randle come to thoughts). Kuzma is undoubtedly the most improved player on the Lakers judging by how he has excelled in his function.