Kyle Kuzma continued his progression towards his return to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday by doing another four-on-four workout before his team took on the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center.
After his workout, Kuzma spoke to reporters about his recovery and his eagerness to show how he improved during the offseason, and it sounds like he’s optimistic for how effective he can be (via Kyle Goon of the OC Register):
“I get super excited, because I know all the work that I put in this summer, and I feel like what this team needs is exactly what I worked on this summer,” he said. “It’s gonna be a surprise to a lot of people.”
Kuzma has already established himself as a scorer in his first two seasons in the NBA — finishing as a top-three scorer for the Lakers in both seasons — but he’s struggled to show he can do anything else. However, at the end of last season, Kuzma started to show growth a playmaker.
Kuzma finished the season with 12 games where he had at least five or more assists, including his first 10-assist game. In the season prior, he only had three games with at least five assists.
If Kuzma can diversify his offensive arsenal by being a better post-passer and drive-and-kick threat, he suddenly enters the conversation to be the third-most valuable player on the Lakers behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Unfortunately, Kuzma isn’t sure when exactly he’ll be able to play again, but he said his workload is being increased every day:
“Honestly I don’t even know my timeline,” he told reporters Sunday morning at his first media scrum since media day. “It’s just kinda working off the progressions. Go 25 minutes a day, if I feel good tomorrow, then it’s the next thing.”
Kuzma still has a few stages to go before being cleared to play, so because practice was cancelled on Monday, it’s not surprising that he’s already been ruled out of the team’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. Still, it’s possible that Kuzma will be cleared for some contact work before the team heads to Dallas on Friday.
Expect another update on Kuzma’s recovery at shootaround on Tuesday.