Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma at Center: What Small-Ball Lineup Could Look Like

The Los Angeles Lakers opting to roll out a small-ball lineup at times during the upcoming NBA season won’t be all that surprising. After all, the Luke Walton’s feature boasts plenty of forwards with good size and plenty of strength – LeBron James being one prime example.

But apparently, the team’s go-to choice at center in these lineups won’t be LeBron. They won’t be focusing on Michael Beasley in the role either. Instead, the big winner is apparently Kyle Kuzma, as ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk revealed.

Kuzma added muscle this offseason and is now learning to play a position he hasn’t done since high school, as Youngmisuk revealed.

“It’s going well, you know, picking it up,” Kuzma said after Lakers practice on Friday. “I have never really played the five before. And I think it will be good for us, having a small-ball unit, getting out and running and gunning.”

Walton did reveal that the Lakers will also use James at center in some instances, but how much that happens is unknown. With the news that the Lakers are going to play Kuzma in the position where JaVale McGee, Ivica Zubac or rookie Moritz Wagner will start, let’s take a look at how the small-ball lineups could look.

Lakers’ Potential Small-Ball Lineups With Kuzma at Center

Let’s check out a few possible options for how the groupings could look:

  • PG: Rajon Rondo/Lonzo Ball
  • SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • SF: LeBron James
  • PF: Brandon Ingram
  • C: Kyle Kuzma

This is the most likely option, especially if Kuzma comes off the bench immediately to replace the starting center (likely McGee). On paper, this lineup is incredible and if it works, opponents are going to be in for tough matchups across the board.

  • PG: Rajon Rondo/Lonzo Ball
  • SG: Josh Hart
  • SF: Lance Stephenson
  • PF: LeBron James
  • C: Kyle Kuzma

The point guard here would likely be whoever comes off the bench, as this could be a second-unit lineup with James being included for stretches. Even this lineup has plenty of upside and talent on both ends of the floor.

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Source: Heavy Sports