The Lakers and Kyle Kuzma came to a win-win compromise on a contract extension with the versatile wing signing a very reasonable deal for thee years and $40 million. It was the first Lakers’ rookie contract extension since Andrew Bynum, nearly 12 years ago!
The contract is well-deserved, as Kuzma had already showed significant progress prior to the NBA bubble — and into the playoffs — with his defensive ability, effort on the boards and ongoing tweaks to his jumper.
That progress has continued into the preseason, most specifically with three key offensive skills. I detailed each in the following video:
So there you go! Kuzma displayed a combination of improved passing vision and timing which made him a good facilitator in the halfcourt and transition, he continued to showcase key adjustments and tweaks on his jumpshot which resulted in more consistency from the catch and gather to release, and finally, he showed off some very nice footwork and patience in the post, resulting in fluid turnarounds.
All three areas are key skills that should allow Kuzma to be featured more on this Lakers team, and have an impact in his limited offensive touches, particularly early in the season as the older vets ramp up slowly to compensate for the shorter off-season.
Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and Laker Film Room. You can follow him on Twitter at@3cbPerformance.