Lakers’ Ball set for preseason debut vs. Warriors

Lonzo Ball will see his first action since having offseason knee surgery in Wednesday night’s preseason home game against the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton announced.

FILE PHOTO: Sep 24, 2018; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball answers a question during the Los Angeles Lakers media day at the UCLA Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Ball will come off the bench behind Rajon Rondo, who is also slated to be the starting point guard when the regular season begins next month.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton looks on in the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Walton told ESPN late last month that Rondo is ahead of Ball in the rotation until further notice, but that he plans to use both of them on the court at the same time in some instances.

“It’s nice, because they’re both selfless, playmaking guards that make their teammates better,” Walton told reporters. “Those are the type of guys we want on the floor. Most of the time, to be able to have at least one of those guys at the point is a big plus for us.”

Rondo signed a one-year, $9 million deal in July. The 32-year-old is one of several veterans who joined the new-look Lakers on short-term deals, including forward Lance Stephenson and center JaVale McGee, to complement LeBron James.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 2, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) warms up prior to a preseason game against the Denver Nuggetsat Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, is excited to get on the floor with his new teammates.

“It gets frustrating when you play basketball for your whole life and then it gets taken from you for a little bit,” said Ball, who says he added 15-20 pounds of bulk during his down time after the surgery.

Ball played in 52 games as a rookie, averaging 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Team president Magic Johnson has predicted a “breakout season,” for Ball, who Johnson says spent the offseason reinventing his shooting form after making just 36 percent of his shot attempts from the field as a rookie.

—Field Level Media

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