Isaiah Thomas Says Young Lakers Can Be ‘Special’ And Kyle Kuzma Has...

Isaiah Thomas Says Young Lakers Can Be ‘Special’ And Kyle Kuzma Has Talent To Be A Star

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Kyle Kuzma, Isaiah Thomas, Lakers
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Isaiah Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a midseason trade, there wasn’t a whole lot of optimism that he was going to be a sage mentor to young players on the roster like Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.

Thomas was coming from a situation in Cleveland where he was widely perceived to be a negative locker room presence, and that was before there were rumblings he wouldn’t accept a role coming off of the bench for the Lakers.

Instead, Thomas has upended both of those assumptions. The diminutive guard has had success and seems to be accepting of coming off of the bench, while Lakers head coach Luke Walton has praised Thomas’ leadership style.

Thomas’ leadership and respect for his young teammates was on full display during a Twitter Q&A in which he seemed thrilled to tell the world how much he believes in the Lakers’ core:

Kuzma, who has also praised Thomas’ leadership and said that he appreciates the way the veteran guard holds him accountable, got a special nod:

Thomas being a good soldier and talking up his young teammates despite still wanting to be a starter again at some point is why he was such a respected veteran presence prior to this season.

And it’s a reminder for his potential free agency suitors that he’s happy to heap praise on his younger teammates and be a professional when the time calls for it. He’s also not wrong.

In Kuzma, Ball, Ingram and the rest, the Lakers appear to have as promising of a nucleus as exists in the NBA. Thomas is just acknowledging that fact, something that likely won’t go unnoticed or unappreciated by the recipients of his praise.