Hello Lakers Nation.
Trevor Lane here, senior writer for lakers nation dot com.
And today we've got some good news.
We're talking about Kyle Kuzma coming back to the Lakers.
That's right, the boy who lived the one guy who didn't get traded.
The sole survivor, if you will, The one guy who didn't get traded in the deal to get Anthony Davis.
The Lakers were dead set, determined on keeping Couch Cosmo.
They believe they have something very special in him, and now he is finally coming back from that injury he suffered weighing back in the summer when he was with Team USA.
We're gonna talk about what his return means for the Lakers.
First and foremost into the news from Tania Ganguli of the L.
A Times puts out this tweet minor news on the cow Kuzma injury front.
I don't think it's actually minor.
I think it's fairly major.
The plan is for him to practice with South Main Lakers tomorrow because the Lakers are off.
They're gonna be taking the day off in practice as they get ready to head out on their three game road trip.
He's gonna work towards returning to the court and he's going on the road trip of the Lakers are hoping to get him back during it.
So does this mean he might play Friday? I guess technically, he could well see, But some time in this three game road trip, they're hoping to get him back and he's gonna be practicing in full.
That means full contact.
That means no more.
One on one stuff, no more, one on none stuff where he's just doing shooting drills and stuff like that.
Even four on four.
He'll be playing all out with South Bay Lakers and then, hopefully looking return to the Lakers very, very soon.
This is Bank for the Lakers.
Let's talk about what it is that Kyle Koosman can bring to the team and what the team is going to get out of having him back.
How things were gonna look different now.
So the first thing that we need to talk about is on the offensive end of the floor.
What is Kyle Kuzma bring there? And what he can provide the Lakers with on the offensive end of the floor is some floor spacing.
First and foremost, we know he only shot 30% from three last season.
Not nearly good enough for a player of his skill level, however.
He shot 37% from deep as a rookie, and my belief, and I know a lot of Lakers supporters believe, is that he is a better shooter than when he showed last season.
He was missing even wide open looks last season, but it's something he spent a lot of time working on this summer.
This is a guy who can stretch the floor while still providing a little bit of size.
You look at some of these Lakers lineups.
They've thrown out their lineups where they wind up having KCP defending large players, contagious cola, Pope defending guys like like Kawai Leonard because they just don't have that other wing player.
They can turn to Jared Dudley, maybe condone it a little bit.
But at this point in his career, he is much more power forward than anything else.
He's not really a small forward Kyle Kuzma.
I still believe, is more power forward than small forward.
But I think he can defend wings.
I think he can defend wing players in the NBA.
I'm not saying he's gonna be great at.
I'm not saying he's gonna be a lock down defender because that has been a question mark for him.
But I think that he can do that.
He could get out there and defend them while providing a little bit of spacing for the Lakers on the offensive end of the floor as well.
So you get a little bit on both sides of the ball.
Now, look, Kyle Kuzma can also do some really good things beyond just shooting on the offensive end of the floor.
He's got the ability to cut to the basket and create openings that way.
So LeBron James actually generated more assists, bypassing the Kyle Cruise my last season than any other Laker.
Second was JaVale McGee and both those guys.
They're still Lakers that season, but more assists bypassing the cow Koosman than any other lake.
And that's because Cruz Mma took advantage of defenders getting focused on LeBron and he knew when guys turned their heads and they're watching LeBron with the ball.
That was his opportunity to cut to the basket and he did a great job of it last season.
Now you can only imagine that effect is probably going to be amplified, even Maur, with Anthony Davis out there on the floor as well.
So a Cosmo Davis pairing that could be very, very good.
Same thing with LeBron James being out there on the court.
On the offensive end, you get a guy who can space the floor with a little bit of shooting a guy who can score off cuts.
Kuzma is also a pretty good passer, particularly in the paint.
He's a better passive than he gets credit for.
So there's a lot of things that Kyle Kuzma can bring to this team on the offensive end again, not to mention a little bit of size.
I talked a little bit about what he does on defense as well.
Look, Kuzma is not known for his defense abilities.
In fact, when people talk about Kosmas deficiencies, they mostly talk about his defense.
His defense was not good as a rookie, but as much as he struggled at times a sop****re, he actually got better.
Statistically, he was a better defender as a sop****re than he was as a rookie.
This is a guy who has a lot of versatility, meaning he can defend in the paint and he could defend on the perimeter.
As I already mentioned, I think he can go out and defend Wing players.
Is that ideal? Maybe, maybe not being what we saw on Team USA that he can't do it.
It's something that he's worked on, spent a lot of time making sure that he is the lateral quickness to stay in front of guys.
That's gonna be really important for this Lakers team because they need another wing defender.
Yes, we would all love if they could go late.
Andre Iguodala if the Memphis Grizzlies ever decide to buy him out, But until then, Kyle Kuzma is probably the Lakers best bet to defend threes as long as they decide they want to keep Danny Green on shooting guards.
So, for the time being conquers but can give them some defense on the wing.
A little bit of defense in the post, a cz Well, he gives you that versatility on that end of the floor.
Hopefully, the Kyle Kuzma at center experiment that we saw last season is over because that didn't work at all.
But as a three or a four, I could see him winning a lot of matchups.
Their so called Koosman can bring a little bit on the defensive end as well.
Now, perhaps most importantly, what Kyle Kuzma brings this Lakers team is an opportunity for Anthony Davis and LeBron James to be off the floor at the same time we've seen it.
The Lakers lineup, when 80 and LeBron are off the floor at the same time right now, is just screaming for another score.
It is painful watching the Lakers when those two guys air off for both of them are off the floor.
If one of them is out there, the Lakers can get by if both of them are off.
It gets ugly fast because the Lakers have a lot of players who are good players like Danny Green, like Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley, Troy Daniels, Dwight Howard, Javale McGee.
These guys are all good basketball players, but they're not gonna create looks for themselves.
Okay, maybe Quinn cook a little bit in pick and roll, but for the most part, these guys are gonna create their own scoring opportunities.
They rely on somebody else to create for them.
Well, Kyle Kuzma doesn't have to do that.
He's got enough skill with the ball in his hands that he can create his own look in a pinch.
And that's something that the Lakers second unit badly needs.
So if you get Koosman back and you've got a situation where LeBron James and Anthony Davis both are off the floor, the Balkan run through Kyle Kuzma.
Now, is that ideal for a full game or something? No.
But for a few minutes each game you can do that and you could be successful enough to where teams are gonna steamroll you when both of these guys are off the floor.
Now it might take Cow Koosman a little bit of time to get up to speed.
Obviously, with a foot injury, he's probably not been doing a whole lot of conditioning.
It's gonna take time for him to work the rust off and all of that.
So I'm not expecting to go take on a big burden right out of the gate.
But just know that this could be big for the Lakers for a lot of different reasons.
And again, the biggest might be that you can now pull LeBron James and Anthony Davis off the floor and not be completely without a scoring punch, which is gonna be really important for this Lakers team moving forward.
Alright, guys, let me know what you think.
What the Lakers gain most by bringing back Kyle Kuzma.
And again, this is super exciting.
Gonna be really fun to see this Lakers team when they have everybody back.
We know Rajon Rondo's return is probably not far away, either.
So Cal Koosman coming back, the guy who most people expect to be the third best player on the team.
This is gonna be a great thing for the Lakers, and I can't wait to see Kyle Kuzma back out there on the floor.
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