The Lakers have decided that a trophy in July isn’t worth risking the health of their second-overall pick, as point guard Lonzo Ball will not play in Monday’s Summer League championship game.
Ball suffered a mild calf strain in his right leg during the third quarter of Sunday’s semifinals matchup with Dallas.
The 19-year-old finished his first Summer League with averages of 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals.
His assists average is the highest in Summer League history, and his rebounds were the most ever by a point guard. He also had two triple-doubles at an event that hadn’t seen one in more than a decade.
Ball will likely be replaced in the Lakers’ starting lineup by Alex Caruso, who recently signed a two-way contract with the team.
In Ball’s stead, the Lakers will look for even more from Kyle Kuzma — who ranks fifth at Summer League in scoring (20.5) — and Vander Blue — who is averaging 20.7 points in his last three games.
Los Angeles will face the Portland Trail Blazers for the Las Vegas Summer League title at 7 p.m. PT.