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NBA Stars On The Rise: Who Will You Pick?

Steve Shoup

The Los Angeles Lakers will be represented well in the upcoming NBA preseason, what with some of the best NBA players being on their roster. The Lakers already have NBA stars like LeBron James in the showcase game, while Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma are deemed rising NBA stars.

For the first time in the team’s history, the LA Lakers are going to be playing with a bunch of young studs. The franchise, in fact, had their pick of the litter in the annual NBA Draft. So far, the Lakers have been able to build a top team that comprises of the young cores. The LA Lakers fans’ expectations had changed dramatically following the signing of four-time league NBA star LeBron James. However, with LeBron James sidelined due to a groin injury in the last NBA season, Kyle Kuzma has risen as one of the best NBA players in the franchise.

Even though Kuzma has not had much opportunity to represent the Lakers on the court yet, Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel thinks he has serious potential.

“He’s just a pleasure to be around.” Vogel shared about Kyle Kuzma with a smile, “He’s everything you want your young players — and really all of your players — to represent from an attitude standpoint. He’s very mature, he’s focused, he’s all about the work, and his attitude is a 10 out of 10.”

The qualities that Kuzma is attributed with are the type of things that make or break basketball careers. The 24-year-old, 6-foot-9-inches tall Laker has earned the respect of others on the team including the team’s coach and he might well live up to the hype he has gotten so far.


He is said to be emerging as the LA Lakers’ best young talent and the team’s brightest young scorer. In fact, it was Kuzma’s efforts and consistent performance that had helped the LA Lakers stay put in the playoff hunt. While James has been allowed to return to practice, in the meantime, Kyle Kuzma has shown to the Lakers fans that he can play a decisive part in carrying the team defensively.

“Everyone knows about LeBron and Anthony Davis, but Kyle Kuzma is really the key for us.” Jared Dudley, 34, expressed his opinion while talking about Kuzma, “He’s the one that has the potential that is untapped to where he could become an All-Star player.”


Even though Kuzma may well be the rising star of the Lakers, he is still not what one would call a finished product. There is no denying that he is a formidable bucket-getter, but when it comes to defense, there is much room for improvement.


“Kuzma is not a good defender, but [he’s] not as much of a liability as [Brandon] Ingram.” A former general manager is reported to have said about Kuzma. The raw numbers indicate a decent amount of improvement as far as Kuzma’s performance on the court is concerned, only that he has not taken any impressive steps forward in the last season. His Flint average stands at 18.2 points, while rebounds are 5.8 and 2.2 assists per game this year. He is able to shoot 48.3 percent when it comes to the floor, but only 30.9 percent beyond the arc.

To be fair to Kyle Kuzma, though, we know that his performance has been somewhat weighed down in the season due to a slow start, which can be attributed to the fact that it took him some time acclimatizing to playing next to James. Kyle has also gotten a bit more aggressive lately, and his numbers are witnessing a big uptick. For instance, if we look at the last ten games he has played, Kuzma is seen to have been averaging somewhere near 22.0 points, with 7.6 rebounds as well as 3.7 assists, while shooting a rather more acceptable 33.8 percent from deep.

Kyle Kuzma is surely going to be playing in the role of a confident and dependable scorer in the upcoming NBA preseason games. Given his height, size, strength, and athleticism, Kuzma’s potential is only going to go forward, and he may as well be the next big NBA star, both literally and figuratively.



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