Lonzo Ball is all everyone is talking about during the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. After two games, opinions are split on his performance thus far, and now the Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard is making headlines again.
Ball will sit out Monday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings thanks to a lingering groin injury. The matchup was anticipated because Kings rookie De'Aaron Fox lit Ball up during the 2017 NCAA Tournament and many wanted to see the two go at it again.
Ball has apparently been dealing with the groin issue for a while. Along with the No. 2 pick from the 2017 NBA Draft, fellow first-rounders Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma will rest Monday night. Hart sprained his ankle against the Boston Celtics Saturday night and Kuzma has been dealing with cramps. Brandon Ingram has already been shut down for the summer after suffering a leg cramp during the team’s opener on Friday.
In his first Summer League contest, Ball played 32 minutes and scored just five points, with four rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and three turnovers. He shot just 2-of-15 from the field and a dismal 1-of-11 from 3-point range. Ball bounced back on Saturday night, posting a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, while playing much faster and looking far more comfortable.
Obviously it’s just Summer League, draw conclusions from it at your own peril. Ball is just 19 and has shown next-level ball-handling, vision and passing ability while also looking better than expected defensively. His shot is an issue — as many knew it would be — but he’s got a few months to work on it before his rookie season begins.
As for Monday night, his absence is a disappointment, but he and Fox share a division, we’ll get to watch them play plenty of times over the next few years.