Lakers Kyle Kuzma looks like the steal of the NBA draft

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The Los Angeles Lakers worked their way to three first-round draft picks this year and their second selection, Kyle Kuzma, No. 27 overall, is having one heck of a Summer League making him look like the steal of the draft.

With Brandon Ingram out of the Lakers’ lineup for Summer League, it looked like it was going to be the Lonzo Ball show for L.A. Although Lonzo is living up to the hype, Kyle Kuzma is making a name for himself and leading the way for the Lakers.

In L.A.’s Summer League debut Kuzma had a quiet game of nine points, three assists, and four rebounds but since Ingram went down he’s stepped up and put his full skill set on display. In the Lakers’ second game against the Boston Celtics Kuzma scored 31 points on 12-for-26 shooting, shot 50% from three and had nine rebounds.

L.A. dropped their first two games but have since won four straight now finding themselves in the semifinals and Kuzma has had a big hand in that. In the Lakers’ second Summer League win against the Philadelphia 76ers Kuzma scored 13 points and grabbed 12 boards, and in their win over the Cleveland Cavaliers he dropped 20 points on 50% shooting from the field and from three.

In L.A.’s quarterfinal victory over the Brooklyn Nets Kuzma remained to impressive putting up 26 points on 52.6% shooting. But the best part about Kuzma’s play is not just his ability to score but his willingness to take shots. Kuzma is being aggressive and showing confidence not often seen from a rookie, and he looks comfortable as a leader of the Lakers’ Summer League squad. He’s showing an innate ability to score from all over the court be it at the rim, by posting up or shooting from deep. Kuzma has even put his ball handling skills on display going coast-to-coast at times before dropping in a bucket.

But most importantly he’s established great chemistry with Lonzo and has emerged as one of the L.A.’s go-to guys this summer. He and Ball create an electrifying one-two tandem with Ball as quarterback and Kuzma as the receiver. Together they’ve created an extensive highlight reel where Kuzma is the benefactor of Lonzo’s precise dimes.

Kuzma is still only a rookie and has his work cut out for him to get minutes alongside Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. but if his Summer League play carries over to the regular season the Lakers have a versatile weapon on their hands.

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