Lonzo Ball‘s left knee kept him out for nearly six weeks of action last season — first a sprained MCL then later a left knee bruise — and apparently it still was not where the team and Ball wanted it after the season.
So, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection in the knee to speed healing once the season ended, something first reported by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN and later confirmed by other reports.
“I just got back [on the court],” Ball told ESPN at the Big Baller Brand Junior Basketball Association media day at Citizens Business Bank Arena, where he joined his father and brothers. “But I have been lifting weights. Nothing stopped me from doing that. I just got back on the court though, but everything is feeling good.”
“Just basically took time off [to let the knee heal],” added Ball, who played in 52 games and averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals as a rookie. “They [treated] it and it feels good now.”
Ball made the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Teams because showed the potential as a team leader who had the Lakers playing fast, sharing the ball, and looking like a team on the rise when he was on the court.
But he’s got a lot of work to do, mostly on his shot — when he sets his feet he can hit a jumper and three, but when contested his slow release gets him in trouble. He also needs to develop a floater and become a better finisher around the basket — he has to be more of a scoring threat to open up the passing lanes he wants to exploit.
“Just been in the weight room, trying to put on that weight,” said Ball, whose younger brother LaMelo will play in the eight-team JBA when its season starts on June 21. “And on the court, a lot of ballhandling, a lot of shooting. I am trying to critique everything and fine tune and get ready for next year.”
Ball and his ball movement could be part of the draw for free agents considering the Lakers, but how good they are next season — regardless of who does or does not come in free agency — settles more on the improvement of Ball and Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma than it is anything else.