With Improved Jumper, Intriguing Prospect Kyle Kuzma Works Out for Sixers - NBC 10 Philadelphia

With Improved Jumper, Intriguing Prospect Kyle Kuzma Works Out for Sixers



    With Improved Jumper, Intriguing Prospect Kyle Kuzma Works Out for Sixers
    With improved jumper, intriguing prospect Kyle Kuzma works out for Sixers

    CAMDEN, N.J. - Out of the 18 prospects the Sixers have brought in for pre-draft workouts this offseason, Utah's Kyle Kuzma is one of the most intriguing.

    The 6-foot-9 forward fits the mold of an NBA stretch four. He's able to face the basket, take people off the dribble, pass and has shown flashes of being able to shoot from the outside.

    "For me, it's kind of huge because I increased my shooting percentage every year," Kuzma said Monday at the Sixers' practice facility. "Teams have really been raving about my improved shooting from even the combine to now. That's a pretty big emphasis but not the biggest thing for me."

    The jumper is the one facet of his game that would most intrigue the Sixers. Kuzma improved his three-point percentage from 26 to 32 percent from his sophomore to junior season. That uptick also included 33 more attempts.

    The 21 year old excelled on the offensive end of the floor for the Utes, averaging 16.4 points per game and shooting over 50 percent from the field. He added 9.3 rebounds per contest and also showed off his ability to find open teammates, posting 2.4 assists a game.

    A strong showing at the combine has also helped Kuzma's stock. His wingspan measured at 7-foot. He then went out and scored 20 points at the event's first 5-on-5 session, including hitting a couple of threes.

    On Monday, Kuzma wanted to make sure what the Sixers saw in their gym matched what they saw from him at Utah and the combine.

    "Just my competitive spirit," Kuzma said when asked what he was looking to show. "My energy. My passing ability. Just my whole game."

    Likely a second-round pick, Kuzma could provide depth behind Rookie of the Year candidate Dario Saric at the four. By season's end, Saric was the only true power forward on the Sixers' roster and the Croatian rookie wore down as he battled plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The Sixers hold the 36th, 39th, 46th and 50th spots in the second round so it's easy to see why Kuzma is on their radar. (Draftexpress.com has Kuzma going 43rd overall to the Houston Rockets.)

    The Sixers are far from the only team interested in Kuzma. The Flint, Michigan native has been to 13 workouts and still has workouts scheduled with the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets.

    Though he acknowledged that Monday's workout went well, he can't take his foot off the gas just yet.

    "I still have keep to working and show other teams that, too," Kuzma said. "This team could be my team or the next team I go to could be my team. Really I just try to keep the same emphasis during every workout: Keep competing."