The San Antonio Spurs were also interested in taking power forward Kyle Kuzma in the 2017 NBA Draft had the Los Angeles Lakers passed on the promising rookie. In an interview with Lakers Nation, Kuzma’s trainer Clint Parks said the Spurs were keen on using the No. 29 pick on his client. “I know the Spurs were also really interested in him as well with the 29th pick,” said Parks. However, the Lakers beat the Spurs to the punch by taking Kuzma at No. 27. Parks emphasized they were not surprised that the Lakers took Kuzma with the 27th pick, saying his client had a good workout with the squad.

The Lakers got the 27th pick from the trade that brought D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets. Aside from the pick, the Lakers also got big man Brook Lopez from the Nets. The Spurs, for their part, used the No. 29 pick to take in Derrick White.

Kuzma aware of Spurs’ interest

In an earlier interview with, Kuzma said he was aware that the Spurs were also interested in his services after an impressive workout with coach Gregg Popovich’s team. “I knew the Spurs liked me as well. I had a workout there and I knew they definitely liked me. I killed that workout, and talked to them,” said the 22-year-old Kuzma, who first made a splash in the Summer League where he outplayed teammate Lonzo Ball after averaging 21.9 points per game.

However, Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 Draft, was selected MVP after averaging 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 steals.

Kuzma a future Lakers star

Now, Kuzma is emerging as a bigger star than Ball in their first season with the Lakers. Currently, the 6-foot-9 Kuzma leads the Lakers in scoring with an average of 17.7 points on top of 6.8 boards and 1.7 assists per game.

Ball, for his part, is averaging 10.0 points per game and leads the Lakers in assists and rebounds with 7.1 and 6.9, respectively. In their 148-142 double-overtime loss to the Houston Rockets Sunday, Kuzma scored 23 points on 7-of-20 shooting while Julius Randle led the way for the Lakers with 29 points, 15 boards, and six assists.

Josh Hart chipped in 26 points while Tyler Ennis started for the injured Ball, scoring 20 points and dishing out 11 assists as the Lakers dropped to 11-24. James Harden scored 40 points and issued 11 assists, Chris Paul added 28 points and 10 dimes and Trevor Ariza chipped in 26 points as the Rockets (26-9) snapped a five-game losing streak. Eric Gordon had 14 points and newly-signed Gerald Green added 10 off the bench for the Rockets.