The beginning of every NBA season leaves everyone fantasizing about their favorite players improving, winning a championship or sometimes even changing teams. Late at night on Thursday, reigning NBA Finals MVP LeBron James joined in on that dreaming by retweeting a viral tweet asking who in the league would take a “massive leap” this upcoming season.
James’ answer? His young teammate, Kyle Kuzma.
In his first year adjusting to the championship pedigree of the Lakers’ roster, Kuzma improved as a three-point shooter over the previous season and his advanced defensive statistics, such as Defensive Player Impact Plus-Minus, trended upward as well.
The biggest thing to watch for when it comes to Kuzma is how he continues to learn how to play off of James and Anthony Davis. Now that starting wing Danny Green is gone from the Lakers, Kuzma is the only player aside from James who has the size on the wing to defend bigger play-makers like Kawhi Leonard or Luka Doncic in the Western Conference.
There is still a solid chance Kuzma emerges as a 3-and-D option at forward for the Lakers over the next few years, and as he works toward an extension in Los Angeles, that’s what this team needs from him.