According to Dave McMenamin, the Los Angeles Lakers have been discouraged by Ryan Kelly’s progress following multiple foot procedures. McMenamin went on to say that the rookie stretch-four will likely not be ready to play when the NBA season begins.
Kelly was drafted in the second-round, 48th overall, by the Lakers, and the fit was natural when it comes to X’s and O’s. As long as Mike D’Antoni is a basketball coach, big men with the ability to shoot the ball, particularly from distance, will have a place in the game. Kelly is exactly that, 6’11″, 229 pound power forward that can flat out shoot the basketball.
After missing summer league, it is expected that Kelly will miss training camp as well. Typically, rookies that miss these parts of the pre-season struggle to catch up to the speed of the league. With that said, Kelly doesn’t come from the typical university. The big man played his four years under the best college hoops coach of all-time Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. Simply put, his basketball IQ is likely higher than your average second-round pick.
While Kelly’s health is still uncertain, one thing is certain: Mike D’Antoni will give the rookie the chance to prove himself in the pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop system.