Lakers News: Kyle Kuzma Focused On Making Team USA Roster, Earning Playing Time

As the 2019 NBA offseason slowly comes to an end, Kyle Kuzma is currently focused on representing the Los Angeles Lakers at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

While numerous All-Star players decided not to participate to prepare for the much-anticipated 2019-20 NBA season, Kuzma thinks it will help him heading into his third season.

And in Team USA’s recent White vs. Blue scrimmage, Kuzma finished with seven points and four rebounds in 10 minutes.

With Team USA practicing at the UCLA Health Training Center for their exhibition game against Spain, Kuzma detailed his experience, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers:

Kuz on 🇺🇸🏀: “Everything is going great. Been a great camp so far. Learning, getting better every single day, (gaining) chemistry and camaraderie with these guys. It’s been a great experience.”

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 14, 2019

Kuzma is focused on not only making the Team USA roster but earning playing time with head coach Gregg Popovich:

Kuz is keying on making the 🇺🇸 roster and earning PT: “Big-time for me. I (want) all the basketball I can get. I’m a young player still. I’m not a vet. I need basketball experience to help me in the long run, especially with this upcoming season.”

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 14, 2019

In order to reach his goal, Kuzma wants to provide defense and rebounding along with his improving offensive game:

Kuz on what he’s been able to show, and his own development: “Being able to show what I got offensively, improvements on my body and show the type of shape I’m in, getting up and down the floor.” Added that he’s keyed on “defense and rebounding,” since it’s a loaded roster.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 14, 2019

With Team USA needing to cut three players for their 12-man roster, Kuzma should have a good chance of making it.

However, based on the scrimmage, there may be some concerns as he played the third-fewest minutes. After Kuzma played limited minutes in the first quarter, he did not check in again until the fourth quarter for Popovich.

And after an individual 5-0 run which included a highlight dunk and three-pointer, the 24-year-old was taken out.

If Kuzma makes the roster, the hope is it will take him to another level for Year 3. As the Lakers are in search of a third All-Star player alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Kuzma is confident he can fill that role for them.