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Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma selected for NBA Rising Stars game

Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball will definitely be in the NBA Rising Stars game, but will they still be on the Lakers? It’s unclear.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

NBA assistant coaches have voted Los Angeles Lakers sophomores Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma to participate in the Mountain Dew Rising Stars game for the American team, the league announced on Tuesday.

Ball and Kuzma will be two of ten Americans to play against a team made up of international first and second-year players on Friday, Feb. 15 (the first night of NBA All-Star Weekend).

Ball earned such honors by averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 30.3 minutes per game this season, while Kuzma has averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 33 minutes per contest. Ball — who is slated to be out another few weeks with a grade-3 ankle sprain — may not actually be able to play in the exhibition.

More information on the achievement’s historical significance, via the Lakers’ official press release:

Last season, Ball and Kuzma became the 11th and 12th Lakers in franchise history to be selected to the game (previously known as the Rookie-Sophomore Game), and will join Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Farmar as the only Lakers to participate in the game twice. It is the fourth consecutive season the Lakers have had at least two representatives in the game.

Ball and Kuzma join teammate Brandon Ingram (2017 and 2018), D’Angelo Russell (2017 and 2016), Jordan Clarkson (2016), Jordan Farmar (2007 and 2008), Andrew Bynum (2007), Kobe Bryant (1997), Derek Fisher (1997), Travis Knight (1997), Eddie Jones (1995, selected MVP), and Nick Van Exel (1994) among Lakers nominated to participate in the contest.

However, the real question is: Will Ball and Kuzma even still be on the Lakers by the time the game rolls around?

All-Star weekend is now a week after the NBA’s Feb. 7 trade deadline, and both Ball and Kuzma have been discussed as players that could appear in a potential trade package the Lakers may put together for Anthony Davis. It appears such a deal may be on thin ice, but Ball and Kuzma representing the Pelicansor another team — in the Rising Stars game is a distinct possibility.

If such a trade doesn’t happen, the game will be a positive moment for the Lakers to remind that they still have two youngsters considered among the most promising in the league. If the trade goes through, though, Ball and Kuzma’s presence in the game will be a reminder that the Lakers are firmly no longer in the young players business, and have moved on to the types of established stars (like LeBron James and Anthony Davis) who are featured in the actual All-Star game later in the weekend.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. All stats per and You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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