Going into the free agency moratorium period on June 30, the Los Angeles Lakers had just four players on their roster: Talen Horton-Tucker, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma. Since then, they’ve added 13 players, including 14 players with guaranteed salaries.
While the roster hasn’t been finalized yet, Kuzma told MLive that he’s happy with the talent the Lakers have added in free agency so far during an interview at his second annual free basketball camp in his hometown of Flint, Michigan:
“We’ve got a lot of great, great players that are coming in. Players that are proven in this league. Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins was an All-Star at one point and getting healthy. Jared Dudley is a great locker room guy... We’ve got a nice roster and I’m really excited to play with those guys.”
With no disrespect to Kuzma’s former teammates, next season’s Lakers team will be the most talented team Kuzma’s ever been a part of and that’s not just because he’ll be sharing the court with James and Davis. While that might result in less shots for Kuzma, who averages 6.6 shots per game for his career, it will allow him to show off other parts of his game like the playmaking he flashed towards the tail end of last season.
It will also give Kuzma an opportunity to pick the brains of the veterans in the locker room, something he hasn’t been afraid to do in the past. Last season, he was one of the first people to seek the guidance of Rajon Rondo and leading up to his rookie season, he asked Kobe Bryant to grab dinner. Since then, they’ve stayed in touch.
Kuzma’s development in his third season will be crucial to the Lakers’ playoff ambitions and beyond, and to the team’s credit, they’ve done everything they can to put him in a position to succeed. Now, it’s his job to deliver.