At the conclusion of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers’ most prized acquisition was second overall pick Lonzo Ball. While the point guard out of UCLA has had predictable rookie struggles, it’s been another of their selections that has been catching the eye of the team, its fans, and the rest of the league.
On Friday, the NBA announced that Lakers’ power forward Kyle Kuzma had been named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the month of November. In 13 games, the Utah product has averaged 18.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He has 49.2 percent of his field goal attempts and 39 percent of his three-point attempts.
Kuzma started 11 of 13 games in November, taking over for Larry Nance, Jr. as the latter sat out with a hand injury.
The Lakers selected Kuzma with the 27th overall pick in the NBA Draft which was acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
Kuzma sat out the Lakers’ near loss to the Golden State Warriors after tweaking his back in shootaround. His availability for Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets is unclear but results from his MRI came back negative.
Kuzma is the first Lakers player to earn a Rookie of the Month award since Jordan Clarkson in March of 2015.Philadelphia 76ers’ rookie Ben Simmons won the Eastern Conference version of Kuzma’s award.