Kyle Kuzma made it official a couple of days ago, by hiring an agent and staying in the upcoming NBA Draft, forgoing his final season at Utah. When Kuzma first put his name in the Draft, it was not a surprise for a guy to see where they may measure up, but for him to stay in the Draft is a surprise, at least for me. I’ve seen some mock projections that have him as an early 2nd round pick, but not much higher than that.
Kuzma must have gotten some very good feedback from some people around the league for him to keep him name in the Draft. In my opinion, it would have benefited Kuz a ton to stay an extra year in school, to improve that draft stock. His perimeter and free throw shooting has been just too inconsistent at Utah for me to believe that he has a ton of attention from scouts. Also, his ball handling was a liability at times. Where he does excel is with his athleticism and ability to track down the ball. He made a ton of plays in the paint on second chance opportunities, and some nice moves around the post. That’s where one of the problems is, that I see, he played a four in college, but he’s the size of a modern NBA three man. Guys like that need to be able to knock down a jump shot consistently, and I’m not sure his athleticism will bail him out at the next level.
Currently, I see Kuz as a guy that makes a nice living overseas, but I’m not sure he’s NBA ready. Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for the guy, and he’s a great kid, but he just has some holes in his game that will get exposed more so at the NBA level. Of course, I’m not going to hate on the kid for making a living playing a kids game, even if it is overseas. He’ll be able to make some good money and provide for his family, and I tip my cap to him for that. And who knows, maybe he can take that next step between the end of the season and an NBA summer league team, or training camp, but I think another year under Coach K would have helped bridge that gap sooner.
As for the Utes, this does hurt them, no doubt, going into next year. A lot of pressure will fall on David Collette’s shoulders, and a bunch of the new guys coming in. We’ll dig more into that later on, but we want to wish the best of luck to Kuz and hopefully he cashes in big at the next level!