‘Cant Maximise His Potential’: Jalen Rose Explains Why Kyle Kuzma Can’t Grow With the Los Angeles Lakers

Published 07/24/2021, 12:07 AM EDT
Jan 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) drives against San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) in the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports


With the NBA off season setting in, some big names are becoming free agents. Teams will try to grab such stars and form a team that can compete for the championship. One of the teams that will make moves is the Los Angeles Lakers. Ater a disappointing playoff run this season, they will look to move certain pieces around to bring in some serious talent.

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One name the Lakers could move is Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma did not have a memorable season this year as put up just 6 points per game in 21 minutes in the playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.

Furthermore, he shot just 17% from deep. Now, LA and Kuzma may be parting ways this off season.

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May 27, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) hangs in the air as he looks for a teammate to pass the ball to as Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) moves in to defend during game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

NBA analyst, Jalen Rose, spoke about the situation of Kyle Kuzma in LA. However, he had an interesting take on things for the player playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

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Jalen Rose says Kuzma can’t blossom with the Lakers

On a recent episode of Jalen and Jacoby, Jalen Rose said Kuzma could win championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, he claims that Kuz can not maximise his potential as a player if he plays in LA. This is because LeBron, AD and Kuzma can not coexist on the floor, and Kuz will not get a lot of minutes. Rose said:

Mar 31, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“He can be a champion in LA, but he can’t maximise his potential just by the sheer geometry of their lineup. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are gonna play the lion share of the minutes up front. And you can’t have all three of those guys really on the floor. Therefore, he is not gonna be able to score the kind of buckets that he has the potential to score.” 

However, Rose did say that it is a valuable experience to share the court with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and also play for the Lakers. But for Kyle Kuzma as a young player who is capable of playing well, it is not the right destination. This is because it will hamper his own progress due to lack of minutes.

Kyle Kuzma’s potential

Kuzma has been averaging just 12 points per game since Anthony Davis joined the Lakers. However, that is certainly not his true potential. He averaged 16 points per game in his rookie season. Moreover, he averaged a career high 18 points in his sophomore year.

Mar 12, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) goes up for a shot past Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

In addition, Kuzma is regarded as a really good shooter. He has consistently shot over 30% from deep throughout his career. There is a reason Kuzma stayed with the Lakers while they traded the rest of the young core to the Pelicans. He has shown glimpses of his potential with the Lakers.

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To conclude, Kuzma may not be a centerpiece of an organisation right now. But, with an increase in play time and more game experience, he can surely develop into a star. Where do you want to see Kuzma next season?

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Anuj Talwalkar

289 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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