Throughout the offseason, Los Angeles Lakers second-year forward Kyle Kuzma has ramped up his work toward improving his overall game over the last several months.
During a recent interview with ESPN, general manager Rob Pelinka has voiced some high praise toward Kuzma with it directed on his improved physique that should be on display next season. (h/t Chris Bengel of 247 Sports)
“When he steps on the court for opening night, you’ll just see how he’s just completely changed his physique,” Pelinka said. “His back is stronger, his shoulders. He spent a couple sessions with Kobe working out down in Orange County on his footwork. He’s been hitting the track. Big changes in his game.”
There has been an increased level of work ethic toward helping him continue to show improvement in his second campaign. This has already earned the praise of former Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who has also worked with him over the offseason to expand his offensive repertoire.
Kuzma is coming off a highly impressive rookie campaign where he averaged 16.1 points on 45 percent shooting from the field and 36.6 percent from 3-point range along with 6.3 rebounds per game. He had also become the first rookie in NBA history with at least 1,200 points, 450 rebounds, and 150 made 3-pointers. Kuzma also became set the franchise record with 159 made 3-pointers while becoming the first Lakers rookie to score 25-plus points in three straight games since Jerry West in 1960-61. All of this helped him earned All-Rookie First-Team honors.
Only time will tell if all this work in the offseason will pay off to see Kuzma take a notable step forward next season while being a key factor in helping the Lakers push toward the playoffs. He has a major opportunity in front of him to establish himself as one of the rising young stars in the league.
Bob Garcia IV
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