One of the league’s most promising young stars and the only member of the Lakers’ young nucleus that they held onto in the Anthony Davis trade, Kyle Kuzma looks to step into a large role for a team expected to contend for an NBA title. With the addition of DeMarcus Cousins/JaVale McGee, Danny Green, and Rajon Rondo in free agency, Kuzma is likely pushed out of a possible starting role and into a spot as the first man off the bench.
This could serve the versatile forward well as his emerging prowess as a scorer has seen him climb to nearly averaging 20 points per game. Used to playing against starting-caliber opponents, a move to the bench and a heavy dosage of minutes off it could turn Kuzma into one of the league’s most dangerous weapons.
Beyond simply getting more run time against bench players, Kuzma’s move to the bench and ability to contribute high-quality minutes allows the Lakers a ton of flexibility in how they stagger playing Davis and James at the two forward positions. Kuzma’s ability to step into either role should serve the Lakers well as they can afford to essentially always keep one star on the court.