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Can Kyle Kuzma Become the Lakers’ Third Star?

The Los Angeles Lakers had a busy offseason this summer. They added several pieces to their roster through free agency and added another star to pair with LeBron James. The Lakers acquired James’ fellow Klutch Sports client Anthony Davis.

Last season, Davis played for the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers parted ways with players such as Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart to get Davis. While they gave up young players once considered their (young) core, the Lakers kept one of their core players: Kyle Kuzma.

With the addition of Davis, the Lakers jump from a team that missed the playoffs to a possible contender. The Lakers have two stars in James and Davis that will lead them throughout the season. But, do the Lakers need a third star? And if so, who should it be? According to Kuzma, he may be that star.

Recently, Kuzma told ESPN he is ready to be the third star behind James and Davis.

“I don’t feel no pressure, but I believe that I am capable of being that superstar,” Kuzma told ESPN. “I put a lot of work in. My progress through my journey shows that I can be there. I developed every single year, dating back to college, and I don’t see that development stunting at all.”

Kyle Kuzma, Anthony Davis and LeBron James (Photo by Getty Images)

He also said that if he keeps developing his game, he does not see why he can’t be the Lakers’ third option.

“Last year, I didn’t shoot the ball well, and I still averaged almost 20. If I can shoot the ball well and keep developing the facets of my game defensively, I don’t see why I can’t.”

Kuzma was the 27th pick of the 2017 NBA draft. The Lakers drafted Kuzma the same year they drafted Ball. Since then, Kuzma has been a key player for the Lakers.

In his first season with the Lakers, Kuzma averaged 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds. He made the NBA All-Rookie First Team along with Ben Simmons (of the Sixers), Donovan Mitchell (of the Jazz), Jayson Tatum (of the Celtics) and  Lauri Markkanen (of the Bulls). Then, Kuzma played well in his second year.

In the 2018-19 season, Kuzma averaged 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. So, he improved in two out of the three categories.

Kuzma is ready to take on a challenging role. It is not easy being the third option to players like James or Davis. Regardless, he is up for the challenge.

If Kuzma continues to develop, his goal of being the third option is likely.



Featured image courtesy of  Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

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