When the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers open training camp next week, Lonzo Ball will not be a full-on participant.
Speaking with Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan, head coach Luke Walton indicated that the sophomore floor general would not be ready to partake in 5-on-5 drills once the team officially opens its doors:
Lonzo Ball (knee) won’t be ready for 5-on-5 scrimmages when training camp starts next week, Luke Walton told
@SpectrumSN Ball has done 1-on-1 drills, Walton said, but Lakers won’t “rush him back at all.”
Ball missed 30 games during his rookie campaign while dealing with left knee issues and is currently recovering from surgery on a torn meniscus. Though this latest update doesn’t necessarily speak to his availability for opening night, the Lakers don’t need to worry about him missing extensive time. They signed the best playmaker in the game, LeBron, over the summer and added a handful of ball-handlers around him.
Still, Ball’s absence from 5-on-5 scrimmages isn’t nothing.
The Lakers are trying to meld together an awkward cast. He’s missing valuable reps with Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Brandon Ingram and James. If he isn’t able to join the full-bore fold during training camp or the preseason, even more of the Lakers’ development in the LeBron era will need to be tackled on the fly.
That might not matter. Ball was nothing if not a adaptive as a rookie. Plus, missing aspects of training camp won’t be a defining measure. The Lakers, in all likelihood, are embarking on a year-long learning curve. It would, however, be nice if they didn’t need to start things off without a fully healthy Ball. He is, for now, a huge part of their future.