Despite coming off an injury-shortened season last year, LeBron James is set to come back with a vengeance in 2019-2020. Armed with a new co-star in Anthony Davis alongside a new-look supporting cast with players like DeMarcus Cousins and Danny Green, the Lakers seem much better suited to James’ strengths compared to last season.
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Lakers’ LeBron James Set to ‘Destroy As Many People as Possible’ Says Richard Jefferson
LeBron’s former teammate – Richard Jefferson – knows a thing or two about seeing LeBron go nuclear and “destroy” his opponents. A teammate on the 2016 Cavaliers, Jefferson was right there with LeBron as he willed the Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors. Jefferson mentions that LeBron isn’t the same player as he was back in his Heat days but that despite father time taking his toll, LeBron will still be able to impact the game in a myriad of different ways.
Citing the presence of Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma as reliable scoring outlets for James to utilize, Jefferson thinks James is going to be in for a monster season. Jefferson also mentioned that the onslaught of media disrespect thrown James’ way should be a motivating factor – although he feels James understands where the disrespect and criticism are coming from as an older player coming off an injury.
Kyle Kuzma Continues Quest for USA Basketball Roster Spot
Speaking of Kuzma, he finds himself onto the last round of cuts for USA Basketball with veteran NBA champion Kyle Lowry stepping away. Now down to 15 players fighting for 12 remaining roster spots, Kuzma seems to be in at least a decent position to actually crack the squad, something nobody initially thought would happen.
However, due to a number of All-Star level dropouts, Kuzma has been able to play his way into a prominent role and despite a relatively quiet showing in the Blue vs White game, gets another opportunity in the scrimmage against Spain to make a case for his roster spot.
Even if Kuzma ends up not making the team, going this far in USA Basketball camp surrounded by elite talent and overseen by legendary coach Gregg Popovich should be a huge benefit to his longterm development. Kuzma has shown the ability to play with the best in the world and especially as a player who needed to improve on the defensive end, the time spent working with Popovich should prove to be invaluable to his continued growth on that side of the ball.
Once Kuzma’s run with USA Basketball is up, he should be expected to serve as (at the very least) a sixth man scoring weapon off the bench. The Lakers frontcourt is loaded with James and Davis taking up large chunks of playing time and deploying Kuzma off the bench could help to create a huge mismatch for the Lakers when the starting unit sits. Kuzma should still be expected to see his usual heavy dose of minutes regardless of if he starts or comes off the bench.