The Lakers prioritized long-term health over Las Vegas Summer League championship aspirations when they ruled out rookie point guard Lonzo Ball for their championship game against Portland on Monday at the Thomas & Mack Center because of a mild strain in his right calf.
Ball suffered the injury during Sunday’s semifinal against Dallas, prompting him to sit out the fourth quarter to receive treatment.
It is not clear when Ball can resume training without restrictions. Typically, though, most NBA players rest following the Summer League regardless of any injuries, serious or minor.
Lakers say Lonzo Ball is out tonight, citing mild calf strain in right leg. Josh Hart & P.J. Dozier also out
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 17, 2017
Ball also missed last week’s game against Sacramento because of a groin injury, preventing an anticipated matchup against No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox.
Ball finishes his Summer League debut amid a cloud of hype and increasing optimism about his play. He posted a Las Vegas Summer-League record two triple doubles as he led the tournament in assists (9.3 per game), ranked third in steals (2.5), 18th in rebounds (7.7) and 20th in points (16.3).
Though Ball shot only 38.3 percent from the field in six games, Ball impressed the Lakers and NBA talent evaluatators with how he jump-started the offense. The Lakers credited Ball’s superior passing for enticing teammates both to show more effort in getting open and in making the extra pass.
The Lakers also have exercised caution with other players. They shut down second-year rookie forward Brandon Ingram after he suffered cramps in his right leg at the end of the Summer League season opener. Lakers rookie guards Josh Hart (right ankle sprain) and P.J. Dozier (left ankle sprain) will also miss the Summer League final after both appeared in only two games.