Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram practiced with the South Bay Lakers on Tuesday as they continued their rehab from injuries that caused the Lakers to leave both players at home during this road trip.
Had the Lakers been home, the two might have joined them at practice, but instead they were assigned to the team’s G-League affiliate to begin practicing.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said Rondo did not have any limitations in the practice. While Ingram didn’t participate fully, Walton is hopeful he will be able to with the team on Thursday.
“As long as nothing swells up overnight when we get back on Thursday, in practice they’ll be with us going full speed,” Walton said.
Rondo has missed 17 games since he broke his right hand Nov. 14 against the Portland Trail Blazers. He had surgery to repair the third metacarpal bone the next day and has been recovering since. An instance of fluid buildup resulted in a setback for Rondo, but he is still on track to return within the original time frame of four to five weeks.
Ingram suffered a sprained ankle Dec. 5 against the San Antonio Spurs and has missed the last seven games. He missed four other games early this season when he was suspended for a fight against the Houston Rockets. He’s started all 20 games in which he’s played and averaged 15.2 points, four rebounds and 2.2 assists.
Rondo has played 11 games, starting just the first two. He then was suspended three games for his role in the Rockets fight, and became the backup point guard behind Lonzo Ball when he returned. Rondo averages 8.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds.
“Those guys are always in communication, they know how we want to play,” Walton said. “We want to move the ball and they watch all the games when they’re not with the team. So now it’s just a matter of once we get them back, getting them back in the groove.”
James: Playing with Anthony ‘would be great’
Being that he was in the city where Carmelo Anthony played for six and a half years, LeBron James was asked if he’d like to play with his longtime friend this season.
“I don’t run the team and obviously there are some things that need to be worked out on both sides, but I’ve always wanted to play along Melo and if the opportunity presents itself, it would be great,” James said. “So we’ll see what happens.”
Anthony is still a member of the Rockets but has not been with them for weeks after they announced they were “parting ways” with him last month. Houston could trade him or buy out his minimum-salary contract. The Lakers have not expressed any interest in signing Anthony.
Ball’s five three-pointers and 23 points Tuesday represented season highs. He attempted nine threes in all.
He made three of those in the first quarter.