Los Angeles picked Kuzma from the University of Utah with the No. 27 pick, and Shahan Ahmed of Yahoo Sports explained the pick was part of the trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets:
Lindsey Thiry of the Los Angeles Times noted the Lakers stayed out West for much of the draft:
Reid Forgave and DraftExpress‘ Jonathan Givony highlighted some of Kuzma‘s talents:
Kuzma was a double-double threat at Utah and averaged 16.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in his final collegiate season. He should slide into the frontcourt alongside Julius Randle and continue to battle for boards on both ends of the floor.
Considering the Lakers tied for sixth in the league in offensive rebounds in 2016-17, he should fit in nicely:
Los Angeles also selected a former national champion in Hart with the No. 30 pick.
Hart helped led Villanova to a title in 2016 and averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a night while shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range during his senior year in 2016-17.
The Lakers were able to select such an accomplished collegiate player because of a trade with the Utah Jazz:
Analyst Nate Duncan pointed to Hart’s opportunity to play right away at the NBA level:
The Lakers now have some building blocks in Ball, Kuzma and Hart as they look to restore the franchise into a regular playoff contender in the coming seasons.
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