Young star Kyle Kuzma has had an interesting career so far.
After exceeding expectations as the 27th pick in the Draft, Kuzma earned the trust of the Lakers community, being hailed as a future star and a major part of their future.
Of course, the young stud would never quite meet that standard, and eventually settled as a backup role-player, averaging almost 13 points per game lasts season.
With a desire for more, and Kuzma failing to reach his quota as a third-option, the Lakers sent him to D.C. as part of the Russell Westbrook trade, and many fans expect him to fade into obscurity without the bright lights of L.A. to support him.
Speaking on "The Jump," however, ESPN's Kendrick Perkins predicted the opposite, suggesting that Kuz could be in for a breakout year.
(start at 1:20)
“I say Kuz to have a career year. Would he make an All-Star game? I’m not saying that. But people have to realize, it’s lot of pressure playing alongside LeBron James and playing for a championship.
And in Washington there’s no pressure. It’s just pressure to get to the playoffs. I’m looking for Kuz to have that monkey off his back, go out there, be able to play freely. I’m looking for him to have a career year this year.”
Nobody knows for sure what this next season will bring for the former Lakers forward. It can go one of two ways.
As for the NBA Champ himself, he's looking forward to his fresh start.
“I was super-hyped, obviously, because it’s a better situation,” Kuzma said. “Going to Sacramento would’ve been fun, I would’ve went crazy for sure. But to have the opportunity to play with Brad Beal–someone that is trying to really be a winner in this league–is just the perfect opportunity.”
After losing last season's play-in game, the Wizards are looking to establish themselves as a solid playoff team in the East. With Bradley Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie, and (now) Kyle Kuzma, they certainly have a chance to do that.
We will see soon enough if they can make it happen.