Grade the Trade: 76ers acquire Kyle Kuzma in this bargain proposal

Kyle Kuzma, Joel Embiid
Kyle Kuzma, Joel Embiid / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Why Kyle Kuzma is a perfect fit for the 76ers

For the most part, Tobias Harris has been an efficient machine for the 76ers, capably and smoothly operating as the team’s de facto third option on offense. However, the biggest knack on him not only in this campaign, but including the previous ones, has been his inability to carry the torch and hold down the fort when the team needs him to, either due to injury or as the linchpin of secondary lineups.

The prospect of Kuzma faring better than Harris in this regard exudes anecdotal and number-backed credence. Sure, the flashy, lanky forward with the quite the quaint coiffure may be more likely to make headlines due to his social media knavery, but one cannot deny his all-around impact as a sheer basketball player.

Since leaving the Lakers, Kuzma has regained his mojo as a microwave three-level scorer from his early years. His increased usage has put a bit of a damper in his efficiency, but this season has been a different story so far —- through 20 games, the 6’9 tweener has drained 47.3 percent of his field goal attempts on high volume, easily the best mark of his career.

Of course, as Harris has still been mor efficient, Kuzma’s career year shooting the ball cannot be the lone pendulum swinger. Fortunately, it’s not. Kuzma has turned into an effective connector on offense, logging 4.8 assists per outing while turning the ball over just 2.4 times a game, a relatively low number given his usage and the Wizards’ extemporaneous attack.

Kuzma’s defense is definitely not messianic, but he does a great job at making full use of his length as a rebounder and help defender. His awareness on that end can be suspect, but he is at least mobile and rangy, giving him more margin of error as he tries to become better as a stopper.