Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Kyle Kuzma is quickly becoming a fan favorite. His Summer League play has continued into the preseason where he is leading the Lakers in scoring so far, averaging 19.5 points per game.
With his outstanding play so far, and an exellent skillset that meshes well with Lonzo Ball, many have already begun calling for him to be a starter. That is something that head coach Luke Walton has thought about as well.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Walton says that the possibility of Kuzma starting is on the table, though he added that he likes where Kuzma is right now:
Luke Walton said the idea of starting Kuzma is at least on the table, but at this point, he likes the scoring punch Kyle brings to 2nd unit
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) October 9, 2017
Walton has a difficult task ahead of him trying to manage minutes in his front court. Kuzma has been excellent so far in the preseason, and Julius Randle has had some solid games as well. Larry Nance Jr. has struggled offensively, but continues to make an impact defensively.
Whether or not Kuzma starts, he is sure to play a big role this season as he has earned minutes with his performance. Keeping him coming off the bench may be a good move for Walton.
Coming off the bench would allow Kuzma to spend a lot of time against other bench players who tend to be lesser defenders. Kuzma could potentially feast on other second stringers, giving the Lakers a huge offensive boost which would be tougher to come by if he’s facing the opponent’s best big defender every night.
Walton will undoubtedly consider every possibility and try out different combinations. With only two games left before the regular season starts, Walton will have to come up with his final decision very soon.