3 reasons why Kyle Kuzma could rejuvenate his career with the Washington Wizards

Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets
Evan Tiwari

Small forward Kyle Kuzma was recently traded away to the Washington Wizards from the LA Lakers in a deal that brought Russell Westbrook to the 17-time NBA champions. Kuzma has been a part of the LA Lakers since the 2017-18 season, but will now team up with star shooting guard Bradley Beal in Washington.

How can Kyle Kuzma revitalize his NBA career with the Washington Wizards?

Kyle Kuzma's poor 2021 postseason led to him getting considerable flak from LA Lakers fans. He averaged a dismal 6 points and 3 rebounds per game in the series against the Phoenix Suns, which might have played a role in the Lakers deciding to part ways with him.

On that note, here are three ways the combo forward can revitalize his NBA career with the Washington Wizards -

#3 - He should look to establish himself as the team's number 2 option

Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers

In his early years in the league, Kyle Kuzma was projected to be a reliable scorer on a playoff team. He averaged 16 and 18 points in the first two seasons of his career, shooting 45 and 46% from the field in those campaigns. However, his scoring instincts took a back seat once LeBron James and Anthony Davis were integrated into the side, as he put up 12 points per game when the aforementioned duo were on the court with him.

Kuzma will need to go back to being aggressive on offense, driving to the basket with authority, and making his jump shots. Following the Russell Westbrook trade, Bradley Beal will need a partner to share the offensive load, and Kyle Kuzma could slide into that role if he reaches his 2018-19 level.

Kuzma has the tools to succeed as the second option on a playoff team. He has the size and the strength to blow past smaller defenders and can rely on his three-point shooting on the perimeter. The shooting has been iffy at times, but Kuzma can help himself turn into a solid offensive option by working on his scoring game.

Also Read: Who is Kyle Kuzma’s girlfriend, Winnie Harlow?

#2 - Kyle Kuzma should try to further improve on defense

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six

Once criticized for his defense, Kyle Kuzma improved leaps and bounds on that side of the ball once he became a role player for the LA Lakers. Kuzma troubled teams with his size and activity on defense, playing a small forward role for a physically dominant Lakers side.

Kuzma also integrated hustle plays and offensive rebounding into his game under Frank Vogel. If Kuzma is committed on defense, there are very few players in his age bracket who are as good as him in that aspect of the game.

The NBA values the two-way and athletic wings in modern NBA, and Kuzma can transform himself into the mold of Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown. He doesn't mind getting his hands dirty and plays winning basketball in the clutch minutes, which makes him a great pickup for the Washington Wizards.

#3 - Kyle Kuzma must work on his off-the-ball skills

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers

Kyle Kuzma displayed an affinity for making cuts to the basket or popping on the perimeter and taking shots off the dribble in the last two seasons with the LA Lakers. Kuzma was especially impressive with his backdoor cuts when one of LeBron James and Dennis Schroder were handling the ball in the half court, and he could strike a similar chemistry with the Washington Wizards' offense-initiators.

Kuzma has a decent basketball IQ and feel for the game, which can help him develop into a destructive off-the-ball player. Improving his off-the-ball skills will make him into a complete offensive package. The Washington Wizards have a relatively young team, and Kuzma will get the opportunity to demand a lot more touches as well.

Kyle Kuzma made the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year team and is an NBA championship winner at a relatively young age, and he can certainly become a reliable player for the Washington Wizards.

Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: League executive believes OKC Thunder would be open to moving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for a substantial package

Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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