The Los Angeles Lakers have selected Kyle Kuzma with the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, adding the athletic 6’9 forward out of Utah to their core. The Lakers acquired the rights to this pick in the trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets.
Kuzma averaged 16.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game as a Junior for the Runnin’ Utes, shining in his final college season. He should fit well in the Lakers’ uptempo pace, looking most effective as a versatile, athletic forward in transition.
His fit on the roster will be interesting to see play out. Kuzma has some potential as a floor-spacing big man, but shot only 32 percent from the 3-point range as Junior, raising shooting 25.5 percent from deep as a Sophomore. His shooting from mid-range out should be considered a project going forward.
What Kuzma does have is a great motor, and with Lonzo Ball pushing the pace, he should fit right in. His skillset is similar to Larry Nance, Jr. or Julius Randle, but that’s exactly why his fit in a crowded forward rotation leaves some questions to be answered.
Here’s a nice YouTube video from DraftExpress to soak in on Kuzma’s game: