The chemistry between Los Angeles Lakers rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma has been obvious since they first took the court together at Las Vegas Summer League in July.
Ball likes to push pace, and Kuzma made his name by taking advantage of it, tirelessly running the floor to catch Ball’s outlet passes and rack up free points in transition.
After the Lakers’ loss to the Utah Jazz Saturday night, Ball made it clear that the chemistry between he and his fellow promising rookie isn’t just on the court, but extends off the court as well, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Lonzo called Kyle Kuzma his best friend on the team, said their relationship started in summer league & is now ‘very close.’
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 29, 2017
Ball and Kuzma getting along is good news for the Lakers, because both have shown enough flashes of promise that they look set to remain in L.A. for the long haul.
As the second overall pick in June’s NBA Draft, Ball always appeared set to be a cornerstone for the Lakers, but his early season success distributing the ball (his 9 assists per game rank fourth in the NBA) has done nothing to dissuade the front office from thinking he’ll be a part of their long-term plans.
Kuzma has excelled as well, earning playing time at both forward positions already despite his status as a late-first-round rookie and averaging 13.7 points per game, the third-highest total of any Laker, a level of competency that is probably forcing him into the team’s future as well.
With both players playing so well, the fact that they get along not only probably contributes to their on-court chemistry, but it means that in a few years when they’re bigger leaders in the Lakers locker room, they’ll have each other’s backs and be able to lead the team together, whatever that roster may look like. That kind of stuff helps, even if it still seems a long way off, and every little bit of team chemistry counts as the Lakers continue to rebuild their culture after several losing seasons.