After spending his first four seasons in the NBA with the Lakers, the team that drafted him No. 27 overall in 2017, Kuzma is starting a new chapter in the Eastern Conference.
Kuzma burst onto the scenes almost immediately during his rookie campaign, using his size and speed at the forward position to attack the rim or spot up for jumpers, which continued as a sophomore despite the drop in efficiency.
After two seasons as a top option on offense, he had to acclimate to life alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, where he had to polish his off-ball movement and defensive prowess, two aspects he gradually developed.
But after a disappointing 2021 playoffs, the Lakers included Kuzma, which was also necessary for salary purposes, in the blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook.
Kuzma explained on the “No Chill with Gilbert Arenas” show he has nothing but love for James and the Lakers:
“It’s all love. It’s all love for sure. I think even a couple of days after I got traded, we were hanging out, chilling, whatever. Even the organization, especially for me, I came in as a Laker, this is all I know. It was family from the jump. And even leaving, it was still family. Getting texts or calls from Jeanie or Rob or equipment managers or people that just work the front gate. Everyone is like, ‘Hope you have a successful career. You’re doing this, you’re doing that.’ And yeah, no bitterness, no nothing, for sure.”
Now Kuzma will have the opportunity to take what he’s learned during his tenure in L.A. and help Bradley Beal and the Wizards to a playoff spot. Kuzma has previously said he can be an All-Star if he has a consistent role on a team, and he’ll have that chance to prove it next season.
Source: Yahoo Sports