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Lakers News: Luke Walton ‘hopes’ Lonzo Ball plays in preseason finale

There’s still a chance we’ll see Lonzo on the court before the regular season opens.

NBA: Preseason-Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are focused on the start of the regular season, and Lonzo Ball’s preseason isn’t officially over just yet. Ball did not practice with the team Wednesday, but head coach Luke Walton wouldn’t rule him out of the preseason finale.

Instead, Walton told media that he’d like to see Ball on the floor Friday against the LA Clippers in the Lakers’ preseason finale, but that he wasn’t “planning” on it. That’s an interesting way to put it, but makes sense in the grand scheme. Of course Walton would like to see his franchise point guard on the floor and healthy before the regular season opener, but based on the fact that Ball isn’t even practicing with the team, it seems unlikely his ankle will be game-ready by Friday.

“Hoping? Yes,” Walton said when asked if he “hoped” Ball would play Friday. “Do I plan on him playing? We’re going about coaching this with the guys that we know are available, and obviously if we get the green light from the training room then we’ll get him out on that practice court, then we’ll him back into that lineup.”

Ball’s recovery could make strides over the next few days, but the Lakers may be better off letting Lonzo rest the ankle leading up u

Lonzo appeared in just two preseason games, averaging 6.5 points and 6 assists per game. He barely had a chance to stretch his legs as a pro, and never played with the Lakers’ full starting lineup.

Odds are we’ve seen the last of Lonzo during exhibition play, but there’s a small chance he could suit up for one last tune-up before the regular season opens up.