Lonzo Ball expected to play in Lakers’ preseason game against the Warriors on Wednesday
The Lakers should soon get a better look at what their lineup might be during the regular season.
“The season’s starting pretty darn soon now so Wednesday would be a good opportunity for us to give more time to what we like so far,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said.
Lonzo Ball is on track to take the court Wednesday when the Lakers play the Warriors in Las Vegas. LeBron James will play, possibly playing more minutes than he has in the three preseason games in which he appeared. James did not play against the Clippers on Saturday after averaging almost 16 minutes during the first half of the previous games.
The Lakers might be without one important piece though — Josh Hart tweaked his hamstring in practice Monday and did not complete the training session.
Ball has not yet played in a preseason game as the Lakers slowly bring him back from the arthroscopic knee surgery he had in July.
“If he stays on the path he’s on right now we feel confident that — he’s there enough that we’re confident of letting him play,” Walton said of Ball.
The Lakers have been excited to see what their ball-handler-heavy lineup will look like, but haven’t yet had all the players available.
“When you’ve got two born point guards — they were just born to be point guard — running the show, it puts people in their respective and their right positions,” James said, when asked if having Ball in a rotation that already includes Rajon Rondo will change things. “And they command that so, absolutely.”
Isaac Bonga’s length created a bit of a problem for one of his teammates. Bonga and Brandon Ingram trapped one of their teammates during a defensive drill during practice on Monday.
“I forget who had the ball but the poor guy had zero chance to get it out of there,” Walton said. “There was just, there was 20 feet of arms all over him.”
“So he’s got a great feel for the game, he’s got great length, he’s an unselfish player, and he’s smart,” Walton said. “So those are all qualities that I and we as an organization love in players, and he’ll continue to get better as time goes and he understands the NBA game and he gets a little stronger physically. But he’s been good.”
Roster cuts begin
The Lakers waived Joel Berry II and Jeffrey Carroll from their preseason roster Monday. Carroll and Berry were both undrafted rookies brought in for training camp.
Both players were used sparsely during the preseason. Carroll only appeared in one preseason game while Berry appeared in three, scoring a total of five points with three assists and one rebound.
The Lakers now have 17 players on their roster and must reduce it to 15, plus two players on two-way contracts, by the start of the season. Fourteen players on the Lakers’ roster have guaranteed contracts for this season and they signed Travis Wear and Alex Caruso to two-way deals. A two-way deal allows a player to spend 45 days with an NBA team and the rest of their time with that team’s developmental affiliate.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli
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