Lakers’ Lonzo Ball ramps up workouts but says he still can’t sprint or jump
By Bill Oram
EL SEGUNDO — It’s a make and miss league, right? Well, the first eight games the Lakers played without Lonzo Ball sure made you miss him.
Since then, however, the Lakers have settled into a nice rhythm without their rookie point guard, winning 11 of their last 15 games overall.
The Lakers have been so good, in fact, that there’s a movement to trade the rookie star before Thursday’s noon deadline.
“I was on HoopsHype earlier today,” Kyle Kuzma teased. “There was rumors of him getting traded for a bag of peanuts or something. So that would be a good trade.”
Ball, who spoke to reporters for the first time in more than three weeks, had a more diplomatic take.
“The guys learned how to play without me,” said Ball, who is slowly adding to his workload in hopes of returning to the lineup before the All-Star break.
Ball, the second overall pick in June’s draft, has missed 11 straight games with a sprained MCL and is progressing toward a return. Coach Luke Walton said the 20-year-old would try to progress on Wednesday to the “full-speed, non-contact” drills that would signal that he’s ready to return to practice.
“He will try it,” Walton said. “If it hurts, then we will back him off obviously. There definitely will be no contact. The more we can get him doing, the more he can go game speed with stuff, the better that is.”
Ball said on Wednesday that he has not yet been able to jump or sprint.
“When I can do those things hopefully I can get back on the court,” Ball said.
Whether that will be before All-Star Weekend at Staples Center remains up in the air. Ball is scheduled to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 16, the first night of the weekend’s festivities.
“It would be my […]