Many Lakers fans have become upset with the underwhelming performance that Kyle Kuzma has put together before play was suspended, and rightly so. Los Angeles fought so hardly to protect him during trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans when they traded for Anthony Davis. Then rumors erupted during the season that Kuzma was possibly on his way out.
Of course, that never happened and Kuzma is with the rest of the team in Orlando, Florida as they get ready for the NBA restart. LA has a talented roster led by two superstars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis but the team doesn’t have a clear third man according to head coach Frank Vogel.
“I really believe our third option on this team with the many, many weapons we have, is the open man. The way we play. If we attack, just play for each other and share the basketball, we have more than enough firepower.”
In a way Vogel is right. The Lakers are oozing with talent upend down the roster with the possibility of any guy stepping up on any given night to be that guy. However, forward Jared Dudley seemed to disagree with that thought while on a zoom call with media.
“For me, in my eyes, I look at this team, Kyle Kuzma is our third guy…For us, I look at it as an opportunity for Kyle Kuzma to solidify being the third guy not only for the media but for this team and what I view him as.”
Again, Kuzma hasn’t played to expectations this season overall but last year’s production should indicate that Kuzma is more than capable of playing at a high level. Even during 7 games started this year, he averaged 20.3 points per game. Now it’s unlikely that the Kuz will get many starts throughout the restart and into the playoffs due to Anthony Davis and himself playing the same position. He needs to find a way to better produce off the bench if he wants to establish himself as that third guy. If he can find that production soon, then the Lakers would get that much more dangerous and would likely see their chances of an NBA title soar.