Though he hasn’t fully healed his surgically repaired right foot, the Lakers officially signed second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly Friday in what will at least give him a chance to compete for a roster spot should he become healthy.
Kelly has started running at 75 percent of his body weight on a treadmill, and Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti envisions him running at his full body weight in a “few weeks.” That means it’s safe to pencil Kelly out at least for the beginning of the Lakers’ training camp, which begins Sept 28 and runs through Oct. 25 with eight exhibition games.
Kelly has already gone through plenty, having surgery in April to repair a screw that was initially inserted in his right foot in March 2012 to treat a broken bone. He couldn’t participate in any pre-draft workouts and fell to the 48th overall pick perhaps because of that reality. The former Duke product didn’t play on the Lakers’ summer league team.
The Lakers selected Kelly, however, because the 6’11’ Duke forward could space the floor with his trusty shooting. That skill enabled Kelly his senior season with the Blue Devils to average 12.9 points with a 42 percent mark from three-point range. Should Kelly fully heal, he would compete for a roster spot during training camp against Marcus Landry, Elias Harris, Xavier Henry and Shawne Williams, all whom signed one-year deals this summer with the Lakers. The Lakers have a league-maximum 15 players under contract, though they’re expected to field 18-20 players during training camp.
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