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35 - Kyle Kuzma

Utah 

  • Birthday: 7/24/95
  • NBA Position: Power Forward
  • Class: Junior
  • Ht: 6-9
  • Wt: 225
  • Hometown: Burton, MI
  • High School: Rise Academy
  • Team Site Profile
  • Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Overall

90

2017
Mock:  27

NBA Comparison: Jared Jeffries/Henry Ellenson

Strengths: Very light on his feet at 6’9” with great footwork; has very long strides, is a good transition player with solid feet on defense... Has the ability to allude defenders while moving towards the rim on the break ... Has above average length and is quick to the ball on the glass ... His agility at 6’9” allows him to get out on the break and run the floor well, and he also has the ability to push the ball up the court in transition as the ball handler ... He is an excellent cutter and plays well without the ball in his hands, and while he is not overly explosive, he has the ability to finish above the rim in space ... Kuzma is not the most advanced shot creator, but he excels at scoring on the move, particularly via straight line drives to the basket ... He is a solid rebounder on both ends of the court, averaged 3 offensive boards per 40 minutes last season, often crashing the glass from the perimeter to pursue the ball ... He also uses his length to be a factor around the rim and shows good instincts on the defensive glass and is quick to the ball ... Even though he is not the most physically imposing player, he does a great job of consistently finding an offensive player to box out and has good timing on his jump ... Kuzma has to refine his technique on defense but has good feet when locked in ... He has the potential to be an effective pick and roll defender who can switch out on guards when necessary; has talent on the offensive end as both a scorer and a facilitator with potential as a stretch four man ... He has excellent shot preparation and mechanics, soft hands, good touch around the basket, and solid vision ... He is a better shooter than his percentages would indicate; only 29% in his career beyond the arc but has good footwork and a quick, fluid release ... He can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket off the pick and pop ... He can be a good isolation player, especially when his face up jumper is working for him ... When the defense has to respect his jumper it opens up the rest of his offensive arsenal, where he uses jab steps effectively ... He is willing to drive with either hand, and is also a good pick and roll player as the roll man ... Kuzma is able to finish around the rim in a variety of ways with floaters and push shots due to his soft touch around the basket; his ambidexterity will be a big advantage at the next level ... He needs to be under control more consistently but has talent as a passer, with the size to see over the top of defenders on the perimeter ... He is also a good passer out of the post to weak side bigs or guards on the perimeter ... Kuzma will fit well in today’s game as a perimeter oriented four man; still needs to work on his consistency but shows flashes of scoring and playmaking ability ... He is not there yet defensively but has the potential to be an adequate multi-positional stopper ... Jumpshot has good form and shows promise, his shooting is better than his numbers indicate and could be impacted to a degree by defenses collapsing on him ... Fits the role of a new age stretch 4 ...

Weaknesses: Kuzma shows a great deal of talent and skill but still needs to put it all together and sustain his intensity and focus; projects as a stretch four man but is a streaky shooter as this stage ... He can also improve his ball handling skills and post game, and can be too wild with the ball in his hands; he will force the issue too often and can get too sped up and be turnover prone ... Despite promising mechanics, the results are not there; he is only a 29% career three point shooter and a 59% career free throw shooter. He also does not have a very reliable mid range game or off the dribble jumper ... As a projected four man, he will need to be more dependable in this area ... It would probably help him to cut some of the motion out of his shot, as he tends to dip the ball all the way to his waist before getting into his release ... He is a capable playmaker off the dribble, but his handle is a bit loose ... Right now he is limited to mostly just straight line drives and is not great at making multiple moves or changing direction to create for himself ... He can improve his feel in the low post, as he does not always do a great job of reacting to how the defense is playing him and seems too often to have his mind made up before he makes his move ... He can also improve his shot selection ... The three-point shot is not his greatest strength at this stage, but he will occasionally launch deep, low percentage shots from the perimeter, and also drives into traffic out of control too frequently ... Kuzma has good vision but does not always play with his head up, which mitigates this ability ... He can be forced into turnovers because of this, and he needs to do a better job of making the simple play instead of trying to force the issue ... Kuzma was an adequate finisher in college but it will be a big adjustment against NBA length and athleticism; relies more on fluidity than explosiveness and struggles to elevate in traffic ... He does not have the requisite size to compensate for his average explosiveness, and he will have to rely on touch and craftiness ... He is a capable finisher through contact but struggles more with long defenders, which he will see much more regularly in the NBA; not a great stand still leaper; has good length and mobility at 6’9” but is not as effective defensively as he probably should be ... He plays too upright on the perimeter causing him to struggle staying in front of smaller players ... He can improve his toughness and develop more of a killer instinct on that end ... He can get bullied inside, needs to do a better job of stopping the offensive player’s first move and force him to change directions ... He does not show consistent effort when closing out on the perimeter, often too upright and will allow players to put the ball on the floor with his strong hand without showing much resistance ... He struggles to contain the ball and usually will not attempt to make a play at the rim when beaten off the dribble ... He can also get lost too often when he is off the ball; needs to do a better job of seeing both his man and the ball simultaneously ... He can be a bit soft inside, and should be a much better shot blocker with his length ... Motivation level remains a question mark. If he has a coach getting after him and improves his focus, his potential is substantial ...

Notes: From Burton, Michigan ... Four-star high school recruit out of Rise Academy ... had offers from UConn, Dayton, Oklahoma State, and Missouri, among others ... Two-year starter for Utah ... 2016-2017 First Team All Pac-12 selection ... Guided Utah to an NCAA tourney birth ... Averaged 16.4 ppg on 50% FG, 9.1 rpg, 67% FT, in 30 mpg in his junior season (2016-17) for Coach Larry Krystkowiak's Utes ...

William P. Desautelle III 5/8/17

August 18, 2014

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