But after he carried the Lakers to victory in Oklahoma City on Saturday, scoring 36 points on 62.5 percent shooting, in a game the team played without All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis?
The Lakers are midway through a tremendous year, but the four-game losing streak in December, including letdowns against the Los Angeles Clippers (27-13) and Milwaukee Bucks (35-6), suggest the team can improve.
Despite a huge game in Oklahoma City, Rondo is shooting just 10 percent from three in January, and his defense is not close to what it was back when he was a four-time All-Star with the Boston Celtics.
In James' 34.9 minutes per game, the Lakers outscore opponents by 9.3 points per game, according to NBA.com.
That brings the spotlight back to Kuzma, who plays the same position as both James and Davis (even if James is technically the team's point guard).