The USA Basketball training camp roster is loaded with elite talent from top to bottom. With big names like James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Anthony Davis in the mix, it was a bit surprising to see Kyle Kuzma on the list. Kuzma is coming off a strong sophomore campaign that saw him bump his scoring average up to 18.7 points per game.
Kuzma has a skillset tailor-made for the modern NBA. His ability to space and run the floor make him a perfect fit alongside the number of ball-dominant guards that litter USA Basketball’s roster. While it isn’t a guarantee that Kuzma makes the roster for the FIBA World Cup in China, the experience of working out for a spot alongside the game’s best players should be hugely beneficial to his growth.
Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma Added to USA Basketball Training Camp Roster For FIBA World Cup in China
USA Basketball heads into camp with 18 players on the roster and must trim down to 12 by the start of the FIBA World Cup. Training camp for USA Basketball is running from August 5th through the 8th with play starting up in the world cup just two weeks later on August 21st. ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk initially broke the news on Twitter that Kuzma had earned himself an invite.
Kuzma is going to have some fairly stiff competition to make the roster as there are a number of higher profile players competing for his spot at power forward. While Anthony Davis will almost certainly assume the role of starter (because he TOTALLY isn’t a center lol) leaving players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, and Paul Millsap to battle it out with Kuzma for a chance to back Davis up.
Kuzma does offer some lineup flexibility and can see some minutes at the small forward and in an emergency, center as well. Especially in a tournament with a 12 man roster, having players off the bench who can fill in at multiple positions is extremely helpful.
Kyle Kuzma 2019-20 Season Outlook
The 2019-20 Season looks to be fairly promising for Kyle Kuzma – assuming he doesn’t get traded. Kuzma has steadily improved as a scorer each season and showed himself to be a fantastic fit alongside LeBron James last season. With a clean bill of health for the Lakers and another season of chemistry between the two, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to expect even more improvement from Kuzma.
Offensively, if Kuzma can bump his three-point efficiency up even slightly, he should see a pretty major uptick in his scoring. By nature of being the power forward next to LeBron, Kuzma is going to get TONS of open looks from beyond the three-point line. He only knocked down 30% of those shots last season and if he can even find his way up into the mid-30s, he can open up an entirely new dynamic of the Lakers’ offense.