The Los Angeles Lakers are officially embarking on their 2019-20 season, their first in nearly a decade with true championship expectations. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis will get the bulk of the attention and expectations, the Lakers need plenty of production out of their role players. In particular, the team has placed a lot of faith in Kyle Kuzma and hope to see him grow into a role as the team’s third-best player.
Fortunately for them, Kuzma is up to the challenge. He spoke during media day about his individual goal for the season:
Kyle Kuzma's goal this season: "I wanna be an All-Star, I would probably say that’s one of my goals I gotta work at. And I don’t see why not."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 27, 2019
Kuzma putting up All-Star production would obviously be huge for a team with questions about its depth beyond James and Davis. The third-year pro had a solid year last season but his shooting took a dip after his surprising rookie year. This year, Kuzma will likely play off the bench but should get plenty of minutes alongside both James and Davis where he can excel by playing off the ball and scoring against teams focused on stopping his star teammates.
Of course, Kuzma made sure to put the focus back on the team goal, with a nod to his general manager:
Kyle Kuzma said the Lakers' first goal is to make the playoffs and go from there.
"You lay a brick, eventually you have a house. That was my Rob Pelinka metaphor, by the way. It was pretty damn good."
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) September 27, 2019
Kuzma is currently out with an injury. The Lakers need him to come back healthy and produce in order to hit the ground running and to have a chance for the championship. An All-Star level season would go a long way towards that goal.