Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball’s season may be over.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Saturday that Ball is receiving a re-evaluation of an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined since Jan. 19. Per Haynes, “there’s strong suspicion he’ll also be ruled out the remainder of the season” following the checkup.
Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported that Ball has a Grade 3 left ankle sprain with a torn ligament. He is also dealing with a bone bruise.
Ball, 21, has had injury issues in his first two seasons. A knee injury limited him to 52 games during his rookie season, while he twice sprained his left ankle this season and was forced to miss time.
When Ball has been on the court, he’s shown flashes, though he remains a work in progress. This season he’s averaging 9.9 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, though he’s shooting just 40.6 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three and an atrocious 41.7 percent from the charity stripe, an inexcusable number for a guard.
He’s also had to adjust to life with LeBron James, who often handles the facilitating duties in L.A.’s half-court offense.
The Lakers’ young players have adapted differently. Brandon Ingram, who is also out injured, has struggled to find his ideal role. Kyle Kuzma has played well. Josh Hart has been buried in the team’s rotation. Ball has been a nice role player when he’s been healthy, though he’s yet to emerge as the star-in-the-making he was selected No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA draft to be.
That leaves open the possibility that some of those young players, or all, could eventually be traded for a superstar player to pair with James.
Expect Rajon Rondo and Hart to maintain significant roles in the Lakers offense with Ball out.