Lakers reportedly considering using Kyle Kuzma at center

Kyle Kuzma
Kyle Kuzma (Getty Images)

Kyle Kuzma could see time at center this season.

The Lakers have been using Kuzma at the five in a small-ball lineup during their first few practices of the year, according to a report from ESPN. The 6-9 second-year player said he has little experience at the position.

“I have never really played the five before,” Kuzma said Friday. “I think it will be good for us, having a small-ball unit, getting out and running and gunning.”

Los Angeles coach Luke Walton said Kuzma “absolutely” has the ability to play center.

“He’s been working on his game, but coverages and things like that are obviously different from the five spot,” Walton said. “He’s been good. It hasn’t been a ton of reps, but we’ve had him out there trying to see if it could possibly work.”

Moving up to the five could allow Kuzma to receive more minutes on the new-look Lakers.

LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers in early July. They also re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and inked Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo as well as Michael Beasley to contracts in the offseason.

James said he has been impressed with Kuzma in training camp.

“He wants to get better,” James said. “He wants to be the best player he can be. He wants to be one of the best players in our league. He stated that. He worked his tail off this summer and has come in with the right mindset. I respect that.”

Kuzma averaged 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 77 games as a rookie in 2017-18.