There is a decent chance Lonzo Ball will have not played an NBA game for close to three calendar years.
Ball is set to undergo his third knee surgery since January of last year, already putting next season in doubt, according to The Athletic.
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The third surgery could revive Ball’s career despite all the missed time.
The former No. 2 pick has not played in 14 months and has already been ruled out for the remainder of this season. If he does miss all next year, it will be 33 months since his last NBA action.
The Los Angeles Lakers selected Ball with the second overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. After two seasons, he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis blockbuster trade. He then pulled a sign-and-trade with the Bulls, with whom he extended for four years and $85 million in August 2021.
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He played in 35 games in his first year under contract but hasn’t played since Jan. 14, 2022.
Coming out of UCLA, Ball was a highly touted prospect – he dropped 14.6 points and dished out 7.6 assists per game in his lone season with the Bruins; the team would lose in the Sweet 16 of the March Madness tournament.
But in his NBA career, Ball averages just 11.9 points per contest, and his 14.6 in 2020-21 is his career-high. He’s shot 40.0% from the floor in his career and 36.4% from three.