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Markieff Morris Says Kyle Kuzma Has Moved On From Trying To Be The Lakers Third Star

(via Los Angeles Times)

(via Los Angeles Times)

25-year-old Kyle Kuzma is the last remaining member of the Lakers' infamous core of youngsters. After the Anthony Davis trade, Kuz was looked at as the third "star" and a guy who would eventually step into a bigger role after the inevitable decline of LeBron James.

One and a half seasons into the LeBron/AD era, however, and it's becoming clear that Kuz may never be able to fill those shoes. This season, according to Markeiff Morris, the young forward has moved past that mindset, playing with a certain degree of freedom instead of with pressure.

(via Silver Screen and Roll)

“Kyle’s doing a great job of filling that void that we need,” Morris said. “I feel like last season, he was more so focused on his shot, more so focused on kind of being that third star on the team, third scorer, third go-to guy. I think this season, he’s just like, ‘I’m just going to go out there and play as hard as I can — if I’m the third-leading scorer or if I’m not the not third-leading scorer. Once I get out there, I’m going try to grab every rebound and steal some extra possessions for us,’ and that’s what he’s been doing, man.

Every team needs guys like that, and he’s taken on that role and it’s inspiring all of us to play harder.”

To say Kuzma hasn't panned out as the player most Lakers fans hoped he would be might be accurate, but he definitely plays an important role for the club.

As a premier scorer, he bolsters the bench and brings energy to the second unit. This season, he's averaging 10.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game on 43.4% shooting. Love him or hate him, he will continue to be a featured player for this team for years to come.