Local flavor in the NBA (and beyond): Kuzma, Lillard shine; Poeltl, Wright see expanded roles

It was a very interesting offseason for NBA players with local ties. There were three players drafted, another handful that signed contracts as undrafted free agents and the signings of two veteran free agents.

Here is a look at the comings and goings for the players with local ties, including how each player performed in the preseason.

Andrew Bogut, Utah, Los Angeles Lakers

Bogut has moved on to his fifth team as he signed a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Lakers over the summer. He didn’t see any action in the preseason as he is recovering from an injury that ended his season in Cleveland last year.

Kyle Kuzma, Utah, Los Angeles Lakers

Kuzma has been a monster since the day he put on a Laker uniform. After he dominated the Las Vegas Summer League, he hasn’t slowed down since starting the preseason. One of his best games came in a 122-104 loss to the Denver Nuggets when he totaled 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field and 7-for-9 from the foul line in 28 minutes.

In five games, he averaged 17 points on 46.7 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.2 minutes.

Jakob Poeltl, Utah, Toronto Raptors

Poeltl saw good minutes in the preseason for the Raptors and produced at a high level as he missed just one shot in 82 minutes. His best showing came in a 116-94 win over the Pistons when he finished with 12 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting from the field while adding six rebounds in 24 minutes.

In five games, he averaged 7.2 points on 93.3 percent shooting from the floor with 4.4 rebounds in 16.4 minutes.

Delon Wright, Utah, Toronto Raptors

Like Poeltl, Wright saw an increased role in the preseason with the Raptors and took advantage. He shot the ball 50 percent or better in four of five games and totaled double figures in scoring three times. One of his best outings came in a 121-113 win over the Los Angeles Clippers when he recorded 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the field while adding four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 28 minutes.

In five games, he averaged 9.0 points on 51.7 percent shooting with 3.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 23.6 minutes.

C.J. Wilcox, Pleasant Grove, Portland Trail Blazers

Wilcox landed with the Blazers in the offseason as he signed one of the NBA’s new two-way deals. He spent training camp and preseason with Portland but didn’t see any game action while dealing with a knee injury.

Continue reading at DeseretNews.com.


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