After injuring his knee in February of the 2017-18 season, Lonzo Ball not only missed the close of his rookie campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers but a chunk of the offseason as well due to surgery.
While the surgery was a complete success and Ball returned for the start of this season, he missed the entirety of training camp with the new-look roster; one that added LeBron James and five others. Ball looked out of sorts to begin the season.
But by December, he seemed to have finally out it together and was playing his best basketball before injuring his ankle in January. Now, after being shut down for the rest of the season, Ball will be able to experience his first full offseason not impacted by injury.
He knows how important this is, and seems eager to finally get it, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Very important. I feel for me to be the player I want to be, I need a whole summer. I finally get to get one.”
Ball and James for about three weeks were working together in perfect harmony. The culmination of it was a win against the Charlotte Hornets in mid-December when both recorded triple-doubles in the same game.
If Ball doesn’t get traded, him and James will finally have a full summer to work together and gain a better understanding of each other’s games. When on the court together, the duo had a defensive rating of 102, and had they had more time together, could’ve gotten their offensive rating higher than the 106 they finished at.
Ball was somebody that many felt couldn’t play alongside James due to his inconsistent jumper. However, if Ball had a full offseason to work on that jumper, he could create even more improvement than he saw from year one to year two, which is everything James would need from him.