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Former Ute Kyle Kuzma named to NBA All-Rookie First Team

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

A year after deciding to stay in the NBA Draft, which was a surprise to so many people, including myself, Kyle Kuzma was named to the NBA All-Rookie 1st team along with Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, Ben Simmons and Lauri Markkanen.

Like I stated, I thought Kuz was a 2nd round pick, or maybe an undrafted free agent when he decided to stay in the draft, because he was lacking in some areas in college — namely ball handling, three point shooting, and a tad inconsistent from the free throw line. As it turns out, the NBA game, which is moe wide open and free flowing, fit Kuz’s skills better than I anticpated. On the season he averaged 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, shot 70% from the free throw line, 45% from the floor and 36% from three. The crazy thing to me too, was the game click for Kuz from jump. He was lights out starting in summer league, and didn’t really tail off during the season. He was able to get some good play time early in the season too, due to some injuries with the Lakers. The Lakers will have some decisions to make with some of their other young guys on the roster, especially with the Lebron James and Paul George free agencies coming up in July. That’ll make it interesting to see what happens with Kuz moving forward, because he’s proven to be a serious player in the NBA.