Young star Kyle Kuzma quickly exceeded expectations after being drafted in 2017. Right out of the gate, he emerged as a bright young scorer, averaging 16.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game on 44% shooting during his rookie season, impressing fans, the media, and the organization itself.
Eventually, he was seen as a piece of the future, and when it was time to trade for Anthony Davis, the Lakers refused to include him as part of the deal. Back then, he was believed to be a rising star.
Unfortunately, Kuzma's performance would only decline with the passing of time. By the time L.A. was wanting to repeat as Champions in 2021, the franchise was outright shopping him across the NBA, and his name was included in many rumors.
Now, as a member of the Washington Wizards, Kuz promised fans better days ahead.
Fan: What can we expect from you in DC this season?
Kuzma: More than what I did the past two years I can tell you that.
The Tweet was part of a larger Q&A with fans, where he answered a number of other intriguing, thought-provoking questions.
Here are some of the best of them, but you can go to Kuzma's page directly for the full thing:
He even explained his plans to improve defensively:
While Kuzma wasn't dropping shade at the Lakers specifically, it's clear from his comments that it was time for him to leave.
When LeBron James signed in 2018, he changed their timeline. Instead of focusing on developing their young guys, they stacked up veterans and win-now players. Kuzma got caught up in the changes and was seemingly never able to grow his game.
While he did play a role in the team's 2020 Championship, he was putting up career-low numbers across the board.
In D.C., he'll have the chance to start fresh with a new team and grow his game in a pressure-free environment.
It will be interesting to see how he grows over these next few years, and if he and Bradley Beal can lift the team to new heights. We'll see for ourselves soon enough.