There are guys in the NBA that think very highly of themselves, and then there’s Kyle Kuzma. There’s a level to this, as the saying goes, and as it seems, Kyle didn’t get the message. According to a recent report, LA Lakers forward sees himself on the same level as Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum.
“I think that Kyle Kuzma perceives himself as someone like Jayson Tatum. I think that’s how he views himself and that’s great. You should view yourself as one of the best young players in the league”, said Eric Pincus on a recent episode of the Lakeside Chats podcast.Eric Pincus, Lakeside Chats
With his inconsistent game and his somewhat ridiculous comments, Kuzma has become one of the most scrutinized players in the league right now. Kuzma’s latest opinion is farfetched, at least. The LA Lakers player has gotten less productive as his career has developed, and you can’t say the same thing about Tatum. Okay, Kuzma was trying to remodel his game to fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but he isn’t consistent enough. That’s probably the reason why the Lakers have been offering Kuzma to anyone who’ll pick up the phone.
“Almost every team I’ve spoken to has said the Los Angeles Lakers have offered them some package including Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.”Adrian Wojnarowski, Woj and Lowe Draft Special
In 2018-19, his second NBA season, Kuzma was most productive. He averaged 18.7 points per game on 45,6 percent shooting from the field and 30.3 percent from behind the arc. He also dished out 3.5 assists per game, his career-high. However, in these last couple of years, Kuzma is not on that level anymore. In 2019-20, when the Lakers won the championship, Kyle had 12.8 points per game on 43.6%, and 31.6% shooting splits. His numbers were slightly better last season when he had 12.9 points (44,3% from the field, 36.1% for three), 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. However, his uneven performances are not impressing anyone.
Tatum, meanwhile, is getting better and better by the year. In his first NBA season in 2017-18, Tatum had 13.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Last season, however, was his best in the league. The Celtics superstar averaged 26.4 points on 45.9 percent shooting from the floor and 38.6% from deep. He added 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists to his numbers, which are now getting serious. Tatum is a two-time All-Star, so it’s not very hard to see whose career is better, and most fans would agree that Jason is one of the best young players in the league and probably the future of the Association.
One guy is shopped around, the other is untouchable. It’s great Kuzma is confident, but he also has to be realistic – Kyle Kuzma is nowhere near Jayson Tatum’s level.