In the last several weeks, there has been much focus on the health of second-year point guard Lonzo Ball as he recovers from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery.
Ball had voiced on Monday during the team’s media day that he’s completely healed from the operation but has yet to advance to the stage of being able to play in 5-on-5 scrimmages. At the same time, head coach Luke Walton voiced to Dave McMenamin of ESPN that the plan for veteran point guard Rajon Rondo to begin the year as the starting point guard while Ball works his way back from the injury. (h/t Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN)
Lakers coach Luke Walton told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the plan is to start Rajon Rondo at point guard as Ball makes his way back from his mid-July surgery.
This is a clear indication that the team doesn’ expect Ball to be ready to go by the season opener. He is on the right path to getting to that point, but the Lakers don’t want to put that added pressure on him to get back to that point before he is physically able to do so.
The offseason addition of Rondo will now take a huge impact as he has proven to be one of the league’s best playmakers with the ball in his hands behind his court vision and decision making as a passer. Several of his teammates including Ball and LeBron James touted him as being the smartest basketball players that they have ever been around.
With Ball out of the lineup to begin the year, it is a chance for Rondo to quickly earn a significant role in the backcourt that could see him continue to vie for the starting job once Ball returns. In the meantime, he will have full control of operating the offense as the starter to begin his first campaign in Los Angeles.