As Lonzo Ball continues to work his way back from offseason knee surgery, Rajon Rondo is expected to be the starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers coach Luke Walton informed ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (h/t ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk) of his decision at media day Monday.

Ball was diagnosed with a torn left meniscus in late June, according to Stadium’s Shams Charania, and underwent successful arthroscopic surgery in mid-July. That comes after Ball was limited to just 52 games as a rookie.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka announced last week, per Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Trudell, that Ball has been “100 percent cleared by our medical staff to return to full basketball activity.” However, Walton previously made it known, according to Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan, that Ball would not take part in five-on-five drills at the beginning of training camp because the team did not want to rush him back into action.

Also of note, Pelinka acknowledged to Bresnahan that Ball may not be able to play in the season opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 18.

While the 2017 No. 2 overall pick figures to be a big part of the Lakers’ future, the team is in a position to be cautious with Ball. After signing four-time NBA MVP LeBron James in July, the team added Rondo, among other veterans, as well.

Rondo is a four-time All-Star and an NBA champion who is a playmaker on offense and defense. Last season, he averaged 8.3 points, 8.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals with the New Orleans Pelicans. He helped New Orleans pull off a sweep of the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers before being eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the second round.

Los Angeles is his sixth team in five seasons.

The 32-year-old point guard is viewed as one of the best passers in the game and is also a menace on the defensive end of the court. With his basketball IQ, the Lakers have a veteran who can help run the offense should Ball miss time. Not only that, but James can also handle the ball and run the point.

With the addition of James, the Lakers are no longer in rebuild mode. Their season will be judged off postseason success—or lack thereof. That means making sure Ball is 100 percent before putting him into the heat of action is crucial.

Courtesy: Bleacher Report


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here