Brooklyn Nets big man Trevor Booker believes that #Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward #Kyle Kuzma will be better than his teammate, No. 2 overall pick #Lonzo Ball. On his Twitter account, Booker made his opinion known, tweeting that “Kyle Kuzma is gonna be better than Lonzo Ball. Just putting it out there.” Booker and Kuzma could have been teammates but the Nets traded the No. 27 pick and Brook Lopez to the Lakers for center Timofey Mozgov and guard D’Angelo Russell.

The 22-year-old Kuzma is considered the steal of the 2017 Draft after he averaged 19.2 points per game in five preseason games. The 6-foot-9 Kuzma turned heads in the Summer League after he averaged 21.9 points but Ball brought home the MVP trophy after averaging 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 steals.

Ball, for his part, played in just two preseason games, scoring a total of just 13 points, nine boards, and 12 assists before he was sidelined by a sore left ankle.

In his final collegiate year with Utah, Kuzma averaged 16.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. He appeared in 96 career games, with 64 starts, for the Utes, averaging 10.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 dimes. He was also selected to the All-Pac 12 First Team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.

Kuzma in the running for starting power forward spot

Owing to his outstanding performance in the preseason, Kuzma is now in the running for the starting power forward spot against Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Lakers coach Luke Walton told Tanya Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times that he will determine who among the three will start, depending on how they play alongside Lopez.

Walton said he must ensure that the second unit also has a dependable scorer in the power forward spot. In terms of years, Randle is the most experienced with four seasons while Nance has three years of NBA experience under his belt.

Ball returns to practice

After missing the Lakers’ last three preseason games, Ball participated in practice Thursday but it remains unclear if he can play in their season-opener Thursday against crosstown rival Clippers. According to Walton, Ball was a full participant in practice but skipped the five-on-five drills. Ball suffered the injury during their game against the Denver Nuggets. Before the Lakers’ preseason game, Ball worked out with Lakers assistant coach Miles Simon. He followed it with another workout with Simon Wednesday but did not join the practice.