While many fans and analysts have focused on Lonzo Ball‘s and Brandon Ingram‘s development as the two key young players for the Lakers, so far this season it has been Kyle Kuzma that has provided the most value to the team. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report writes that Kuzma has emerged as the Lakers’ best young talent, especially in the wake of LeBron James‘ injury.
As Pincus points out, Kuzma has averaged nearly 25 points per game in the 10 games he has played without James, with the Lakers winning five of those contests. While Kuzma has struggled to hit 3-pointers (just 31.3% so far this season), he can score in a variety of ways while also providing another capable ball-handler.
Meanwhile, Ball’s jump shot continues to disappoint, while Ingram hasn’t looked comfortable playing alongside James, a big issue if he plans on being a crucial piece of the team in the years to come.
There’s more from the Pacific division:
- While DeMarcus Cousins made his return on Friday and will continue to work his way into a larger role moving forward, Nick Friedell of ESPN points out that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t plan on slowing the pace for Cousins to catch up.
- As Elie Okobo continues to adjust to life in the NBA, he was able to face (and learn from) his childhood idol Tony Parker over the past week as the Suns faced the Hornets on two occasions. Duane Rankin of Arizona Central writes about how Okobo grew up watching Parker.
- The Suns‘ call for public funds to renovate their arena will reach a vote in the upcoming week. As Bob Young details for The Athletic, the team is calling for $150 million in public funds to help make renovations to an arena that opened in 1992.