The Lakers only had one pick in this year’s NBA draft, and they used it on Duke prospect Ryan Kelly, a sharp shooter who could spread the floor in Mike D’Antoni’s system if given the minutes. However, when Kelly was drafted, he had just undergone foot surgery to repair his right foot, that had bothered him his last season at Duke, which forced him to sit out of 13 games.
At the time of the draft, it was expected that Kelly would spend the summer recovering from his injury and be ready by the start of training camp. Because of this, Kelly missed playing with the Lakers Summer League team. Things don’t seem to be according to plan, however, as it looks like Kelly hasn’t been making the progress that the Lakers have been expecting, according to Dave McMenamin.
Don’t discount the appeal of Beasley’s ability to shoot it, either. The Lakers drafted Ryan Kelly in the second round primarily for his ability to stretch the floor with his long-range accuracy, but the team has been discouraged by the rookie’s progress during the summer, according to multiple league sources. The Lakers doubt that Kelly, who missed summer league while recovering from multiple foot procedures, will be ready for the start of training camp.
Kelly isn’t the only current Laker who is spending the summer rehabbing from an injury. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Jodie Meeks all ended last season with some sort of injury, and three of the four had to undergo some sort of operation once the season ended (Bryant’s surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles was before the Lakers season ended).
It’s unclear if this will hurt Kelly’s chance at making the team, but it does bode well for undrafted rookie Elias Harris and training camp invite Marcus Landry as they’ll both have a leg up (pun unintended) just by the simple fact that they’ll be healthy at the start of training camp.
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