Two Los Angeles Lakers were named to NBA All-Rookie teams on Tuesday including Kyle Kuzma, who received All-Rookie First Team honors, and Lonzo Ball, who made the All-Rookie Second Team. Kuzma is the 12th rookie in Lakers history to be named to the All-Rookie first team, per Lakers media relations.
The No. 27 pick in 2017, Kuzma continues to shatter any and all expectation for him going into his rookie season. Through 77 games with Los Angeles, Kuzma averaged 16.1 points per game, tied for the team-high with Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram. Kuzma also contributed a respectable 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Kuzma earned the Western Conference Rookie of the Month award for games played in October and November, averaging a team-leading 16.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 50.4 percent through his first 20 career NBA games.
Kuzma finished the season second among rookies in points per game (16.1), fifth in rebounding (6.3), seventh in three-point percentage (36.6 percent) and ninth in field goal percentage (45 percent). He also became the first Lakers rookie in the franchise’s history to score 25-plus points in three consecutive games since Jerry West in 1960-61. He’s fifth all-time on the Lakers’ rookie scoring list.
The No. 2 pick in 2017, Ball didn’t exactly hit the ground running the way Kuzma did, but that shouldn’t take away from the tremendous rookie season Ball had with the Lakers.
Tampered with lingering injuries, Ball only appeared in 52 games for the Lakers, but in those 52 games he averaged an impressive 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 34.2 minutes per game. The assists were expected, but Ball showed a knack for grabbing rebounds early in his career. Ball finished fourth among all rookies in rebounds per game.
Ball and Kuzma proved to be a formidable duo in their rookie campaigns and they will have the opportunity to build on that chemistry as they are under contracts with Los Angeles until at least 2020. While only one made the All-Rookie First Team, both players have equally bright futures ahead of them.