LOS ANGELES - Lonzo Ball isn't the only Lakers rookie to watch for Wednesday when the Sixers play at the Staples Center.
Forward Kyle Kuzma quickly has made his mark just 14 games into his career.
"He's a hell of a rookie," Brett Brown said. "That was a great pick by them."
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Kuzma already is looking like a sleeper steal in the 2017 draft. The Lakers selected him 27th out of Utah, two picks after the Sixers chose draft-and-stash center Anzejs Pasecniks.
Kuzma is averaging 15.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in seven games this month. He ranks third among rookies in scoring and fourth in rebounding (Ben Simmons leads both categories). Kuzma is just barely behind John Collins for second in rookie field goal percentage (50.3).
"I think he's a modern-day player," Brown said. "He can play with a bounce. He can make a three. He gets out in open court."
Brown was impressed by Kuzma long before the season started. Kuzma was one of the many players who participated in pre-draft workouts for the Sixers. There are some players Brown meets with whose interaction stays with him. Kuzma is one of them.
"He had a big personality," Brown said. "He was great to speak with. There was sort of a cocky side that I was attracted to. ... He's somebody that personally I was paying attention to a lot and paid attention to even more after you interview him because he was very endearing to me."
Sixers injury updates
Joel Embiid did not participate in shootaround because of rehab (left knee) and rest. He will play against the Lakers.
Justin Anderson (left shin soreness) and Jahlil Okafor (upper respiratory) are listed as questionable.
Jerryd Bayless (left wrist contusion) and Markelle Fultz (right shoulder) are out.
Sixers shootaround ended with Robert Covington and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot draining these two long-range shots just short of half court.