The Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma is better than anyone expected but he should still come off the bench this season.
Saying that Kyle Kuzma should come off the bench may not be a popular take. After all the rookie is already receiving MVP chants from Laker fans at Staples Center.
When it comes down to it, the kid is just good, and he’s one of the best and most consistent players on L.A.’s roster.
He was great in Summer League, great in the preseason and now he’s playing great when the games count. Kuzma is no fluke; he’s the real deal and clearly the steal of the 2017 NBA draft.
“Too easy.” – Kyle Kuzma after the bucket pic.twitter.com/8sNNCMu3lx
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) November 3, 2017
Since Larry Nance Jr. has been sidelined with a fractured left hand, Kuzma is starting in his place. As expected the kid is ballin’ out and taking advantage of the opportunity. But just because he’s great and obviously capable of sustaining his level of play as a starter, doesn’t mean he should continue to start.
Nance Jr. was playing great for the Lakers and affecting the game in ways that aren’t always trackable. His injury will keep him out four to six weeks but when he returns he should also return to L.A.’s starting lineup.
The reason is simple. Nance Jr. had been more effective as a starter than as a bench player while Kuzma is effective either way. That means Kuzma should come off of the bench because he’ll still get his while allowing Nance Jr. to get his as well.
When everyone getting PT plays well, the team has the best chance of winning.
Kuzma is a chameleon of a player with a position-less skillset that shines in any lineup whether starting or subbing in. But to get the most out of Nance Jr. the veteran should be starting.
Even off of the bench the legend of Kuzma will continue to grow. Playing him that way will also allow his teammate to flourish and make the Lakers that much better.