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#pounditTuesday, December 1, 2020

Kyle Kuzma taking on leadership role with Lakers

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma may only be 23 and have just two years of NBA experience, but that’s not stopping him from taking on a leadership role with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Danny Green, who agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract with the Lakers in free agency, spoke on his “Inside The Green Room” podcast Tuesday and praised Kuzma for the leadership he’s already shown.

“Kuz has taken kind actually kind of a leadership role for a young guy and putting us together. He put a little group chat together, make sure everyone knew whose number was who. He reached out to let everybody know where to be in the summer,” Green said.

Green also credited LeBron James for helping him remain patient throughout the free agency process. Green was one of the players in limbo until Kawhi Leonard announced his decision.

The Lakers traded away most of their players during the offseason — first to New Orleans for Anthony Davis, and then to Washington to clear more salary cap space for a third max player. Kuzma was one of the few remaining players the Lakers kept, along with LeBron. That makes him a core player and likely explains why he took on that role. But in the days after Kawhi Leonard’s move to the Clippers was announced, the Lakers brought back several members from last season’s team, including Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, and Alex Caruso, so they will have some continuity despite having a new coach and mostly a new roster.

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