Lonzo Ball has been ruled out for the team's preseason opener against the Nuggets.
It hasn't taken long for Lonzo Ball to rehab his war-torn knee injury, at least in the eyes of LeBron James, who up until this point in his career has been at the archetypical "player-coach" in the modern era. So for him to praise Lonzo's recovery, it could be mean one of two things: either that Lonzo is close to game shape, or that he's well in need of some encouragement, but I doubt he would choose the latter function.
"I didn't know he was gonna be full go so fast," James told the media after practice Today. "He's (Lonzo) been going through live drills the last 2½ days. His bounce is there. His speed is there." As you may recall, Ball went under the knife in mid-July to repair a torn left meniscus team officials initially thought would keep him in the sick bay until Week 2 of the 2018-19 calendar.
LeBron's glowing report aside, Lonzo Ball will not suit up with his teammates for the Lakers' preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday in San Diego. Even coach Walton was shocked at how good he looked during scrimmage.
"We're gonna be patient," Walton said. "No need to rush it right now. We'll put minutes restrictions on him as he starts coming back in the preseason. And everything will be, 'How do you feel?' the next day, 'How do you feel?' that night. As long we keep checking those off and he's fine, the minutes restrictions will go up and up until we decide to get rid of it altogether."
Needless to say, NBA vet Rajon Rondo has already been penciled in as the team's starter entering the season. 2018 first round draft pick Moritz Wagner remains on the sidelines with a left knee contusion, and will only be re-evaluated come November.