The Los Angeles Lakers announced rookie Lonzo Ball will play in Thursday's 2017-18 season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center and will not have a minutes restriction despite dealing with a sprained ankle.
Ryan Ward of Clutch Points passed along the long-expected news Wednesday.
Ball, 19, had been practicing without restrictions in recent days and was widely expected to be in the Lakers' starting lineup. The No. 2 overall pick in June 22's draft was limited to two preseason games because of the injury.
"I felt good. I'm ready to go," Ball told reporters after Lakers practice Wednesday.
The Chino Hills, California, native said he expects to have his "whole family" in attendance for his NBA debut. He attended UCLA after Chino Hills High School and essentially is lined up to have his entire basketball life based in the Los Angeles area if his career pans out.
Ball described himself as "rusty" following Monday's practice.
"Definitely a little rusty," Ball said, per ESPN.com's Law Murray. "I had a lot of turnovers today. But like I said, as long as I'm ready for Thursday, that's all that matters. ... My wind is not that bad to be honest. ... A couple of passes I usually make were short today. But I'll be ready for Thursday."
Turnovers were a bit of an issue in the preseason, with Ball posting seven in his two full games. It's unclear how many minutes he will play in the opener. The Lakers also have Jordan Clarkson and Tyler Ennis available to handle the point.
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