Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball isn't likely to be participating much in training camp which opens next week. Coach Luke Walton made that announcement on Tuesday when asked about the status of the 20-year-old player, who is still recovering from knee surgery over the summer.
According to Sporting News, Walton said that Ball was healthy enough to participate in a few one-on-one sessions, but still needs more time to heal before he can get into any full scrimmages once camp is underway. He also added that the team isn't in any hurry to get him more active.
A second overall draft pick in 2017, Ball averaged 10.2 points as well as 7.2 assists in his first season with the Lakers. The former UCLA Bruins all-star struggled all season with a medial collateral ligament sprain and played only 52 games. Arthroscopic surgery on the meniscus of his left knee in July was reportedly successful back in July and the Lakers fully anticipated Ball would be ready for training camp.
However, updates on his progress weren't encouraging, although Ball is still expected to make a full recovery.
Ball's post-surgical condition seems to be symbolic of the Lakers' status of late, as the team tries to rebound from being shut out of the NBA playoffs for a fifth straight season. In response, they opted to rebuild the squad around former Cavaliers power forward LeBron James, who signed with the team in July for a four-year contract worth $154 million.
Besides bringing back shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers also signed deals with former Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, ex-Warriors guard JaVale McGee, former Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo and ex-Knicks forward Michael Beasley during the summer. Where Ball will fit in with the veterans remains to be seen once he's totally been cleared to play.
The team hardly had any reason to celebrate its 60th anniversary as a professional basketball team during the 2017-2018 season, finishing in 11th spot in the Western Conference and saddled with a 35-47 regular season record.
Depending on how quickly Ball will recover, not to mention how James will mesh with his new team, Walton declared the Lakers will become playoff contenders by April.