When Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma was asked on social media to name the biggest thing he’s learned about his game since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, he offered a direct response: that there’s more to basketball than scoring.
That there is more to basketball than just scoring https://t.co/RyV9mlezDQ
— kuz (@kylekuzma) December 5, 2023
Ironically, while Kuzma’s response suggests that he has learned to focus on more than just putting the ball in the hoop, his best seasons as a scorer have come in his post-Lakers years.
The former first-round pick averaged 15.2 points per game across four seasons with the Lakers, and he’s averaging 19.7 points per game as a member of the Wizards. This season, he has been particularly impressive in that department, averaging 23.6 points per contest while shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from deep.
But that’s certainly not the only area where his production has grown since his time with L.A. came to an end. He has improved on the boards and as a playmaker, helping him take his game to the next level with Washington.
Kuzma’s time with the Lakers had its fair share of ups and downs, but many folks remember it as a successful stint, thanks in part to the organization’s 2020 NBA title. The forward appeared in every game of L.A.’s playoff run in the bubble and helped the franchise win it all.
Over the 2023 offseason, there was some buzz linking Kuzma to the Lakers, but he ultimately signed a new deal with the Wizards that is expected to keep him in Washington for several seasons. Hopefully for the 28-year-old, there are brighter days ahead for the Wizards, as they’re one of the worst teams in the NBA this season with a 3-16 record.
The Lakers, on the other hand, are in the postseason mix in the Western Conference with a 12-9 record, and they’re looking to build off their success from last season when they came within four wins of a trip to the NBA Finals.
The Wizards and Lakers are scheduled to play twice this season, giving Kuzma a chance to show his former team how much he’s grown with Washington.