The Lakers Reality Show

amarshal2

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His oRTG (accounting for shooting efficiency, turnovers, offensive rebounding) was 105 against a league average of 110. It should be noted that Tatum was 107 last season (he was at 111 last year).

Both of those pass the eye test to me. The big difference is that anyone holding Tatum would/should expect more improvement given the ~3 year age difference.
The point I made in the post you quoted is that he’s very, very efficient from 2 for a guard and inefficient from 3. An acquiring team should care more about what he can do well than focus on the fact that they let a young player shoot a lot of 3’s.
 

Eddie Jurak

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You couldn’t be bothered to look up his stats before posting?

He’s a poor 3pt shooter but he’s averaged .533 from 2 his first two years. That’s better than D-Wade from an efficiency standpoint.

There’s plenty of reasons to discount the comparison I just made (lack of any other plus skills) but like Malcolm Brogdon, he’s underrated around here.
I'm not seeing it. I do see it with Brogdon, FWIW. Kuzma strikes me as a bench guy or someone who would add value to a team lacking in scorers with any sort of efficiency.
 

JakeRae

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RPM gives Kuzma a score of 0.01. He’s an offensive positive and gives it all back on defense. Last year he was significantly worse on both sides, so there’s reason for optimism, and he’s definitely not worthless, but it’s hard to see much more than a role player no matter how hard you squint.
 

amarshal2

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He has a +skill of value and is only a 2nd year player. Here's a ranking of 2pt FG% of all non-centers among those who took at least 900 shots (to account for volume)

Player Pos 2pt FG%
1 Giannis Antetokounmpo PF 0.641
2 Pascal Siakam PF 0.602
3 Kevin Durant PF 0.587
4 Eric Bledsoe PG 0.582
5 LeBron James SF 0.582
6 Ben Simmons PG 0.566
7 Julius Randle PF 0.564
8 Kyle Kuzma PF 0.553
9 Bradley Beal SG 0.548
10 Kawhi Leonard SF 0.542

Only Simmons is younger.

Again, any stat that doesn't account for the Lakers letting him take 6 threes a game at a .300 clip is not a good measure of his value in a trade.
 

InstaFace

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I find 2pt FG% to be a weird, awkward measure as well, as it doesn't distinguish between dunks, layups, 5-foot floaters, 12-foot jumpers, and 20-foot Tatums. I know TS% is supposed to correct for volume of 2s, 3s and FTs, but they don't distinguish between types of 2s.
 

sezwho

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I find 2pt FG% to be a weird, awkward measure as well, as it doesn't distinguish between dunks, layups, 5-foot floaters, 12-foot jumpers, and 20-foot Tatums. I know TS% is supposed to correct for volume of 2s, 3s and FTs, but they don't distinguish between types of 2s.
Or how many of Antetokounmpo's 2pt shots got the and-1.
 

lovegtm

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I find 2pt FG% to be a weird, awkward measure as well, as it doesn't distinguish between dunks, layups, 5-foot floaters, 12-foot jumpers, and 20-foot Tatums. I know TS% is supposed to correct for volume of 2s, 3s and FTs, but they don't distinguish between types of 2s.
Lonzo Ball was 65%ish on 2s in college iirc, but for some crazy reason, that didn’t carry over to the NBA /s
 

Jimbodandy

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2pt percentage is bizarre.

His TS% is not terrible. Not great but not terrible. He's not great in advanced stats because he's not great.

He's a 24yo powerhitting corner outfielder in AA with zero glove and ok but not great plate discipline and a strikeout problem. He has value but he is what he is. If he were 20 or had glove, Keith Law would write about him. But it's a no on both counts.
 

lovegtm

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2pt percentage is bizarre.

His TS% is not terrible. Not great but not terrible. He's not great in advanced stats because he's not great.

He's a 24yo powerhitting corner outfielder in AA with zero glove and ok but not great plate discipline and a strikeout problem. He has value but he is what he is. If he were 20 or had glove, Keith Law would write about him. But it's a no on both counts.
Yeah, it sometimes feels like we’re trying so hard to not be homers that we lose track of the actual league consensus on players. There is not a single GM in the NBA who would do anything but laugh if you mentioned Kuzma in the same breath as the blue chip 20-22 year old guys, and not just because of his age.
 

chilidawg

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2pt percentage is bizarre.

His TS% is not terrible. Not great but not terrible. He's not great in advanced stats because he's not great.

He's a 24yo powerhitting corner outfielder in AA with zero glove and ok but not great plate discipline and a strikeout problem. He has value but he is what he is. If he were 20 or had glove, Keith Law would write about him. But it's a no on both counts.
Wouldn't that pretty much have described Michael Chavis?:)
 

amarshal2

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It literally doesn’t matter if the 2’s are dunks or 20 foot Tatums if a player can do them at both a high frequency and high efficiency. That’s what separates Durant and Giannis from Gobert, the season leader in TS%, or say Westbrook or a Baron Davis high volume low efficiency type as a scorer.

I did a quick and dirty to illustrate the point. I cut Kuzma’s three point attempts per game from 6 to 1. I adjusted his points per game accordingly but kept all his rate stats and his FTA/G the same. He came out at 58.6% TS% which if we apply it to last season places him in between Hield and Lillard.

Hield isn’t a bad comparison here. He’s old to be a super prospect and doesnt offer much value outside scoring at a favorable clip. As recently as last year Hield averaged under 14 points per game while Kuzma averaged 14.1 in my little experiment.

If Kuzma could either change up his mix of shots and get himself up to 18 points per game by taking more 2’s (or improving his 3pt %) I think he could be viewed as the third best player on a good team. That doesn’t take a lot of projection in my opinion.

I never came close to saying he’s a blue chip prospect. He’s a second year player who has one discernible plus skill and who is underrated by this board.
 
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Devizier

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It literally doesn’t matter if the 2’s are dunks or 20 foot Tatums if a player can do them at both a high frequency and high efficiency.
I mean, I don't know what to say. How do we rate Jerami Grant and Kelly Oubre (they just missed your 900 FGA threshold)?
 

amarshal2

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I mean, I don't know what to say. How do we rate Jerami Grant and Kelly Oubre (they just missed your 900 FGA threshold)?
Kuzma took 9.5 2PT FGA
Oubre took 7.3
Grant took 6.6

In terms of “does it seem like each guy could increase his volume and remain efficient”?
Kuzma has a wide distribution of shot types at hits out to 16 feet at a high rate (~47.5%)
Grant is all dunks, can’t shoot from 3-26 feet. he’s not Giannis so is uninteresting as a go to scoring option.
Oubre is lower volume and less efficient on his jump shots but hes not so far behind. It’s his 4th year in the league and he’s not as good as Kuzma offensively today so he’s got a lower ceiling and is less likely to be a featured offensive guy. But he’s a good player. I think he could reasonably be a starter on a decent team.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I did a quick and dirty to illustrate the point. I cut Kuzma’s three point attempts per game from 6 to 1. I adjusted his points per game accordingly but kept all his rate stats and his FTA/G the same. He came out at 58.6% TS% which if we apply it to last season places him in between Hield and Lillard.
If Kuzma could either change up his mix of shots and get himself up to 18 points per game by taking more 2’s (or improving his 3pt %) I think he could be viewed as the third best player on a good team. That doesn’t take a lot of projection in my opinion.

I never came close to saying he’s a blue chip prospect. He’s a second year player who has one discernible plus skill and who is underrated by this board.
I think a better road to imporovement for him would be to improve his spot up shooting from three, which seems at least possible for him to do. (He actually shot 37% from three as a rookie). That would give him some value over and beyond his own scoring as a guy who could space the floor leading to better opportunities for teammates.

As far as being 3rd best player on a good team, I still don't see it. Yes, he has one discernable plus skill. But that's literally all he has. If he's also a plus defender, or rebounder, or someone who can hit open shooters behind the arc, or whatever, now you might be talking. But he's none of those things. Are there other one-dimensional players who rise to that level (3rd best player on a good team)?

The other problem is that as discernable skills go, efficiency from 2 is a pretty limited one. No good offensive team in today's NBA is going to want to build its offense around scoring from 2.

I see him, ultimately, as either a bench piece or a guy who can scores a lot of points on a bad team.
 

Captaincoop

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Thirty years ago Kuzma is all-star material. He’s Kelly Tripuka. Give him enough shots and he’ll give you 20 points a night.

But in 2019 nobody builds around players like that.
At age 22, Kuzma shot 13 times per game to score 16 points. This year Tatum shot 13 times per game to score 15. How much of a difference are we talking about in that regard?

Kuzma has some upside if he can improve from 3. Tatum also needs to do that.
 

DrewDawg

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At age 22, Kuzma shot 13 times per game to score 16 points. This year Tatum shot 13 times per game to score 15. How much of a difference are we talking about in that regard?

Kuzma has some upside if he can improve from 3. Tatum also needs to do that.
Then why do NBA GMs apparently see Tatum as the main piece in a potential AD trade and Kuzma as, well, less than that?
 

Captaincoop

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Then why do NBA GMs apparently see Tatum as the main piece in a potential AD trade and Kuzma as, well, less than that?
Well first of all, I don't think you have any idea how NBA GM's evaluate these guys. NBA GMs aren't out there publicly telling us how they rank trade assets, only sportswriters and bloggers are.

Personally I would rank Tatum higher because he's younger and has a better skill base than Kuzma. But it's not as big a gap as some here seem to think, and Kuzma is considered a nice young asset by most observers that I'm reading.

Part of the disconnect between Boston fans and the national media seems to be that outside of our bubble, people are assuming the Celtics may be willing to put Tatum AND Brown AND the Memphis pick in a deal for Davis (which starts to really separate Boston's package from LA and NY), whereas we are all assuming that won't be on the table.
 

DrewDawg

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Well first of all, I don't think you have any idea how NBA GM's evaluate these guys. NBA GMs aren't out there publicly telling us how they rank trade assets, only sportswriters and bloggers are.
Okay, yes, you got me--no NBA GM is texting me their thoughts.

But unless every single "expert" out there is wrong, including some pretty plugged in ones, it's clear who the league values more on a 1 to 1 basis. Of course Kuzma has value, but Tatum is described in most articles about this as the centerpiece of an AD deal, a potential NBA All-Star. Kuzma is listed as part of a deal that was, from all available evidence, laughed at.

I guess we'll see what plays out.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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At age 22, Kuzma shot 13 times per game to score 16 points. This year Tatum shot 13 times per game to score 15. How much of a difference are we talking about in that regard?

Kuzma has some upside if he can improve from 3. Tatum also needs to do that.
JT's metrics would have been adversely affected because he had terrible ISO production (the worst, I believe, of anyone who had as many attempts as he did). I don't have time to look at the numbers, but I am guessing that Kuzma did not have nearly the ISO plays that JT had. (I know that in his 41 point game against DET, he had 0 ISO chances, which I believe is some sort of record.)

And to answer your second post, yes Kuzma is a nice, young asset but people still look at JT as an All-Star level player. I think that's a huge difference.
 

Captaincoop

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Okay, yes, you got me--no NBA GM is texting me their thoughts.

But unless every single "expert" out there is wrong, including some pretty plugged in ones, it's clear who the league values more on a 1 to 1 basis. Of course Kuzma has value, but Tatum is described in most articles about this as the centerpiece of an AD deal, a potential NBA All-Star. Kuzma is listed as part of a deal that was, from all available evidence, laughed at.

I guess we'll see what plays out.
Neither of these guys is the true centerpiece of an AD trade. They're both being included in pupu platters. The question is whether Tatum has enough value over Kuzma to outweigh the Lakers including the #4 pick while the Celtics include a good-not-great young player and potentially two late lotto picks.

I expect increasing chatter about the Celtics having to include Tatum and Brown now that the Lakers have that pick.
 

Devizier

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Neither of these guys is the true centerpiece of an AD trade. They're both being included in pupu platters.
Wait, what? I know we're disappointed with Tatum this season but odds are good that he will be a lot better than whatever the Memphis pick turns out to be.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I like Kyle Kuzma and think he will be a very useful player in the NBA for a while - I don't expect his game to plateau at current levels and the earlier referenced Jerami Grant is a perfect example of why you don't give up on players with tools who show flashes of figuring it out early (he had a very good season for OKC this year). To be clear, neither Kuzma nor Grant are stars but every team can use their skill set assuming that coaches game-plan around their deficiencies.

That said, its pretty obvious that Tatum should be considered more valuable than Kuzma not just because the former is almost three years younger but also because has shown flashes of elite skills on both sides of the ball. As JR pointed out upthread, Kuzma gives everything back on the defensive end. Meanwhile, Tatum has done stuff like average ~ one more deflection per game than Kuzma.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Neither of these guys is the true centerpiece of an AD trade. They're both being included in pupu platters. The question is whether Tatum has enough value over Kuzma to outweigh the Lakers including the #4 pick while the Celtics include a good-not-great young player and potentially two late lotto picks.

I expect increasing chatter about the Celtics having to include Tatum and Brown now that the Lakers have that pick.
Of course Griffin is going to want both JT and JB, and if I were him, I'd certainly have people posting all over the internet about how great Kuzma or Knox or Reddish or whoever are. But for me, and I think most GMs, JT - and JB for that matter - is the single best asset available on the market because they both have multiple All-Star potential but have a significantly higher floor. As mentioned upthread (or in a different thread), there is a significant chance of busting out at even at #3, so why take the chance when you can have a guy like JT or even JB?

Plus, you know how both of them are going to handle the NBA lifestyle.

BTW, Windhorst is also saying that NOP does not want to do business with LAL: https://www.masslive.com/celtics/2019/05/anthony-davis-rumors-new-orleans-pelicans-dont-want-to-do-business-with-the-lakers-report.html. No idea where this is coming from and no way to find out if it's true but I'm sure DA is pretty happy even hearing this rumour.
 

Tony C

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Are Kuzma's defensive numbers distorted by being mis-cast as Draymond Green early in his 2nd season by the Lakers? As their small-ball center he was a disaster, but my impression is otherwise he improved defensively.
 

InstaFace

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I don't particularly like Lebron the on-court player, but I would watch the shit out of "drunk Lebron holds forth on anything and everything"
 

amarshal2

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I said Kuzma could be the third best player on a good team with some projection and people doubted it. I disagree but it’s definitely reasonable. Tatum already is the third best player on a good team and was so at age 19-20. His floor is higher than Kuzma’s current level of play and Tatum’s ceiling is much higher.

Jayson Tatum could absolutely be the centerpiece of an AD deal where there’s uncertainty about signing him long term.
 

benhogan

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I said Kuzma could be the third best player on a good team with some projection and people doubted it. I disagree but it’s definitely reasonable. Tatum already is the third best player on a good team and was so at age 19-20. His floor is higher than Kuzma’s current level of play and Tatum’s ceiling is much higher.

Jayson Tatum could absolutely be the centerpiece of an AD deal where there’s uncertainty about signing him long term.
Kuzma was a smart late-round draft pick. I like him as a role player, offensive energy off the bench where his defense won't get overly exposed (MaMo-lite). BUT if he is your teams 3rd best player I don't think you're looking at a playoff or a good team.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Are Kuzma's defensive numbers distorted by being mis-cast as Draymond Green early in his 2nd season by the Lakers? As their small-ball center he was a disaster, but my impression is otherwise he improved defensively.
Maybe, but he had poor defensive numbers in college as well- his best steal rate and block rate, from when he was a junior, are less than half of Tatum’s as a freshman. And the general eye-test consensus, from what I’ve read at least, agrees that he’s a bad defender, mainly due to poor lateral agility- he plays upright and stiff, and doesn’t have much penchant for physical play, as evidenced by his low rebounding numbers for a guy his size. He seems like a pretty smart player with good instincts, but the physical tools are pretty lacking for a modern 3/4 defender. He’s the type of guy that teams target relentlessly in the playoffs.
 
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bowiac

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Kuzma grades okay (averageish) on a variety on advanced metrics, but is already 23. He seems very much so like a floor-raising player, who helps a mediocre team get to 42 wins or something. However, largely for the reasons DannyDarwinism articulates, it's sort of hard to see him even in the rotation for a good team with aspirations at contending. He's a poor defender who provides value for offensively challenged teams by soaking up some possessions, but actually good teams have a bunch of actually good offensively players already doing that, so that skillset would mostly go unused. He can sort of shoot, but he's not a good shooter. He can sort of pass, but he's not a good passer. He's not the worst defender in the league, but better energy bigs are almost freely available.

He doesn't have any truly plus skills, and his best attribute is redundant on a good roster. I can see a team talking themselves into him if they just want to be respectable however.
 

lovegtm

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Kuzma was a smart late-round draft pick. I like him as a role player, offensive energy off the bench where his defense won't get overly exposed (MaMo-lite). BUT if he is your teams 3rd best player I don't think you're looking at a playoff or a good team.
This is a good comp.
 

amarshal2

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He’s Morris-lite? Even without adjusting for bombing 3’s on bad teams, Kuzma’s first two years would rank 3rd and 4th in TS% in Morris’ career behind this season and another. My little experiment above is the best season of Morris’s career. Kuzma is very likely to be better than Morris.
 

Jimbodandy

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He’s Morris-lite? Even without adjusting for bombing 3’s on bad teams, Kuzma’s first two years would rank 3rd and 4th in TS% in Morris’ career behind this season and another. My little experiment above is the best season of Morris’s career. Kuzma is very likely to be better than Morris.
I think that you have accurately set the bar now at "very likely projects to be better than Marcus Morris".
 

benhogan

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Kuzma grades okay (averageish) on a variety on advanced metrics, but is already 23. He seems very much so like a floor-raising player, who helps a mediocre team get to 42 wins or something. However, largely for the reasons DannyDarwinism articulates, it's sort of hard to see him even in the rotation for a good team with aspirations at contending. He's a poor defender who provides value for offensively challenged teams by soaking up some possessions, but actually good teams have a bunch of actually good offensively players already doing that, so that skillset would mostly go unused. He can sort of shoot, but he's not a good shooter. He can sort of pass, but he's not a good passer. He's not the worst defender in the league, but better energy bigs are almost freely available.

He doesn't have any truly plus skills, and his best attribute is redundant on a good roster. I can see a team talking themselves into him if they just want to be respectable however.
Really good point. The bolded and underlined resonates with me.

For a good/great team, a defense first/lunch pail role player adds more value than a bad defense/decent scorer that demands shots as the 5th player on the floor.
 

benhogan

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He’s Morris-lite? Even without adjusting for bombing 3’s on bad teams, Kuzma’s first two years would rank 3rd and 4th in TS% in Morris’ career behind this season and another. My little experiment above is the best season of Morris’s career. Kuzma is very likely to be better than Morris.
Fair enough. Kuzma isn't as good as MaMo now, but will probably be better in the future. Either way, I don't want present-day MaMo or future Kuzma as my 3rd best offensive player much less my 3rd best player.

Both are OK bench pieces on a good team.
 

Tony C

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Isn't that a straw man...how did all of a sudden "3rd best player" become Kuzma's bar? Maybe I missed it, but did someone claim they thought he was Klay Thompson? If so that's silly and I think distorts the conversation. To my mind he'd be a truly excellent 6th man and possibly a complementary starter on a good team. His defense isn't as bad as is claimed -- the numbers are distorted by how he was used and he's shown some distinct improvement -- and he has some very good offensive skills despite playing in the middle of a trainwreck for his 2 years in the league. On the flip, the decline in his 3 point % during his second year is worrying -- that's where the rub is in re if he is/is not a useful piece on a contending team.

In re a trade piece to the Pelicans, I think he has some value as part of a package, but obviously not a centerpiece.
 

lovegtm

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Isn't that a straw man...how did all of a sudden "3rd best player" become Kuzma's bar? Maybe I missed it, but did someone claim they thought he was Klay Thompson? If so that's silly and I think distorts the conversation. To my mind he'd be a truly excellent 6th man and possibly a complementary starter on a good team. His defense isn't as bad as is claimed -- the numbers are distorted by how he was used and he's shown some distinct improvement -- and he has some very good offensive skills despite playing in the middle of a trainwreck for his 2 years in the league. On the flip, the decline in his 3 point % during his second year is worrying -- that's where the rub is in re if he is/is not a useful piece on a contending team.

In re a trade piece to the Pelicans, I think he has some value as part of a package, but obviously not a centerpiece.
The original conversation was whether NBA GMs should/do consider him on the same tier as Jayson Tatum. I pretty much stopped reading at that point.
 

Jimbodandy

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Isn't that a straw man...how did all of a sudden "3rd best player" become Kuzma's bar? Maybe I missed it, but did someone claim they thought he was Klay Thompson? If so that's silly and I think distorts the conversation. To my mind he'd be a truly excellent 6th man and possibly a complementary starter on a good team. His defense isn't as bad as is claimed -- the numbers are distorted by how he was used and he's shown some distinct improvement -- and he has some very good offensive skills despite playing in the middle of a trainwreck for his 2 years in the league. On the flip, the decline in his 3 point % during his second year is worrying -- that's where the rub is in re if he is/is not a useful piece on a contending team.

In re a trade piece to the Pelicans, I think he has some value as part of a package, but obviously not a centerpiece.
It's not a strawman, although I'll admit that it was only written once here and I'm too lazy to find the post and quote it.

At his salary, he's a bargain. At MLE level salary, he's still value. He's just not a guy to build around. His ceiling is complementary starter on a good team, and he projects as "helpful volume scorer off the bench". That's not garbage. That's a useful player. On the other hand, Tatum's ceiling is considerably higher. We can debate on his likelihood of his getting to that ceiling, but that much is obvious. This is why Kuzma's inclusion with "injury question marks" Ingram and "who the fuck knows" Ball and the #4 pick in a 3-man draft (and arguably a 1-man draft) in a proposed "how the fuck can the Pelicans turn THAT deal down??" argument is nonsense (not that you or Amarshal are arguing that, but that's the PR at the moment). None of those four assets are potential cornerstones. Tatum is. And so is the Memphis pick.
 

nighthob

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There isn't an argument to be made that it's a one man draft. The question marks surrounding the other two guys are no more pressing than the ones surrounding Zion. It's just that Zion's come together with a hyperathletic 6'6" 270lb frame. Morant's biggest issue is the frame, but the shoulders are plenty wide enough to carry another 25-35lbs. Barrett's biggest issue is that he's a streaky shooter, but with that length and athleticism, you can live with him working on the jumper.

To be brutally frank, there's a non-zero chance that Kevin Porter Jr. ends up the best player from this pool, and that's not a knock on the other three, it's just that KPJ is absurdly skilled with the athleticism to make it hurt (for the other team). Now his biggest question mark is a real one, the Ricky Davis knucklehead factor. But if he gets his head on straight? He's a potential MVP candidate.
 

benhogan

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Isn't that a straw man...how did all of a sudden "3rd best player" become Kuzma's bar? Maybe I missed it, but did someone claim they thought he was Klay Thompson? If so that's silly and I think distorts the conversation. To my mind he'd be a truly excellent 6th man and possibly a complementary starter on a good team. His defense isn't as bad as is claimed -- the numbers are distorted by how he was used and he's shown some distinct improvement -- and he has some very good offensive skills despite playing in the middle of a trainwreck for his 2 years in the league. On the flip, the decline in his 3 point % during his second year is worrying -- that's where the rub is in re if he is/is not a useful piece on a contending team.

In re a trade piece to the Pelicans, I think he has some value as part of a package, but obviously not a centerpiece.
Nope, not my strawman, I didn't set the bar.

post #327 amarshal2
If Kuzma could either change up his mix of shots and get himself up to 18 points per game by taking more 2’s (or improving his 3pt %) I think he could be viewed as the third best player on a good team. That doesn’t take a lot of projection in my opinion.

post #330 Eddijurak didn't agree also
As far as being 3rd best player on a good team, I still don't see it. Yes, he has one discernable plus skill. But that's literally all he has.
 
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Tony C

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It's not a strawman, although I'll admit that it was only written once here and I'm too lazy to find the post and quote it.

At his salary, he's a bargain. At MLE level salary, he's still value. He's just not a guy to build around. His ceiling is complementary starter on a good team, and he projects as "helpful volume scorer off the bench". That's not garbage. That's a useful player. On the other hand, Tatum's ceiling is considerably higher. We can debate on his likelihood of his getting to that ceiling, but that much is obvious. ...
Sounds about right to me.
 

soxhop411

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
34,110
Opposing teams should just show that magic video when recruiting players that the lakers want. Say you really want to go to this type of disfunction?
 

amarshal2

Member
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Oct 25, 2005
4,591
Isn't that a straw man...how did all of a sudden "3rd best player" become Kuzma's bar? Maybe I missed it, but did someone claim they thought he was Klay Thompson? If so that's silly and I think distorts the conversation. To my mind he'd be a truly excellent 6th man and possibly a complementary starter on a good team. His defense isn't as bad as is claimed -- the numbers are distorted by how he was used and he's shown some distinct improvement -- and he has some very good offensive skills despite playing in the middle of a trainwreck for his 2 years in the league. On the flip, the decline in his 3 point % during his second year is worrying -- that's where the rub is in re if he is/is not a useful piece on a contending team.

In re a trade piece to the Pelicans, I think he has some value as part of a package, but obviously not a centerpiece.
The original conversation was whether NBA GMs should/do consider him on the same tier as Jayson Tatum. I pretty much stopped reading at that point.
Nope, not my strawman, I didn't set the bar.

post #327 amarshal2
If Kuzma could either change up his mix of shots and get himself up to 18 points per game by taking more 2’s (or improving his 3pt %) I think he could be viewed as the third best player on a good team. That doesn’t take a lot of projection in my opinion.

post #330 Eddijurak didn't agree also
As far as being 3rd best player on a good team, I still don't see it. Yes, he has one discernable plus skill. But that's literally all he has.
Yes, absolutely I think he could be the 3rd best player on a good team. I think it's entirely reasonable to project him to be the third best player on the Jazz, Blazers, Pacers, etc.

The straw man isn't that nobody said Kuzma could be good, the straw man is people are taking the above to mean "he's going to be Klay Thompson" or "he's on par with Tatum" which absolutely nobody has argued or insinuated at all. The Warriors are not merely a good team by any standards. It's not fair to take arguably the deepest great team of all time and say that's what was meant. "3rd best player on a good team" means he's somewhere in the 50-60 range of best NBA players, not future hall of famer Klay Thompson.

And I also pointed out that Tatum is a far superior prospect because Tatum was already the 2nd or 3rd best player on a good team as a 20 year old.

I said Kuzma could be the third best player on a good team with some projection and people doubted it. I disagree but it’s definitely reasonable. Tatum already is the third best player on a good team and was so at age 19-20. His floor is higher than Kuzma’s current level of play and Tatum’s ceiling is much higher.

Jayson Tatum could absolutely be the centerpiece of an AD deal where there’s uncertainty about signing him long term.
 
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Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
4,300
Magic went scorched earth on FT today
For those at work/who don't want to watch the whole 21 minutes and change, Business Insider has an article summarizing the interview.

What are the chances Johnson ever works for an NBA team again? One has to imagine that the Lakers are not the only franchise with this sort of "backstabbing" going on, especially in an industry where there are only so many high-paying jobs that don't involve being on the court during games.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
17,667
There's nothing wrong with Zion's shot. He did whatever he wanted in college against top competition. Sure a few guys will probably pass him in pure hoop skills, but he's going to dump a fairly efficient 20 for years in this league and contribute on defense as well. It takes a certain myopia to dwell on his unusual shape and assume that the dominant physicality won't carry forward again.
I’m more questioning his ballhandking than his shot but the latter isn’t elite by any means. He has some skill work to improve upon for sure but the player can’t count on any physical growth to improve upon as he is already elite in that regard. Others like Morant can also make leaps physically as well.

There is a massive difference in dropping 20 a night with good defense and becoming the next LeBron.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
6,242
Santa Monica
Yes, absolutely I think he could be the 3rd best player on a good team. I think it's entirely reasonable to project him to be the third best player on the Jazz, Blazers, Pacers, etc.

The straw man isn't that nobody said Kuzma could be good, the straw man is people are taking the above to mean "he's going to be Klay Thompson" or "he's on par with Tatum" which absolutely nobody has argued or insinuated at all. The Warriors are not merely a good team by any standards. It's not fair to take arguably the deepest great team of all time and say that's what was meant. "3rd best player on a good team" means he's somewhere in the 50-60 range of best NBA players, not future hall of famer Klay Thompson.

And I also pointed out that Tatum is a far superior prospect because Tatum was already the 2nd or 3rd best player on a good team as a 20 year old.
Is there an above .500 team Kuzma would even start for? I value defense more than most, so I'm bias, but I don't see it.

If he improves his 3pt shooting from his rookie year, improves his weight training/gets stronger (thus improving his paint/interior defense) then he becomes extremely interesting. So maybe that's what you see and that's part of your projection.
 
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