Lakers’ Ryan Kelly falls short on NBA’s all-rookie team list

The Lakers’ Ryan Kelly and Nick Young celebrate a shot late in the 4th quarter The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Lakers 120 to 118 in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA January 14, 2014.(John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

The Lakers’ Ryan Kelly and Nick Young celebrate a shot late in the 4th quarter The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Lakers 120 to 118 in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA January 14, 2014.(John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

In what marked one of the few bright spots of an otherwise failed Lakers season, rookie forward Ryan Kelly provided all sorts of signs that he belonged in the NBA.

He epitomized what former Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni wanted with a so-called stretch four in his system: floor spacing and dependable outside shooting. Despite being hobbled last summer and the beginning of a training camp from a surgically repaired right foot that had not healed, Kelly impressed the Lakers brass enough both to land a spot on the roster and on the rotation. Despite being selected as the 48th in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Kelly posted numbers that suggested he should have been selected higher with 8 points on 42.3 percent shooting and 33.8 percent from three-point range.

But such efforts were not enough to make the NBA’s all-rookie first or second teams, as released by a panel of 125 sportswriters and broadcasts. Instead, the first-team honors went to Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia 76ers), Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic), Trey Burke (Utah Jazz), Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York Knicks). The second-team honors included Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Bobcats — now the Hornets) and Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Kelly still received 29 points, placing him 14 overall behind Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings), Pero Antic (Atlanta Hawks) and Nick Calathes (Memphis Grizzlies). But such numbers would have only been good enough to make the NBA’s all-rookie third team, if such a thing existed. It probably did not help the Lakers (27-55) had the sixth worst NBA record. Instead, Kelly’s play will likely entice the Lakers to grant him a $1.1 million qualifying offer by June 30 to make him a restricted free agent.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Ryan Kelly believes he can still thrive outside of Mike D’Antoni’s system

The Lakers' Ryan Kelly and Nick Young celebrate a shot late in the 4th quarter The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Lakers 120 to 118 in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA January 14, 2014.(John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

The Lakers’ Ryan Kelly and Nick Young celebrate a shot late in the 4th quarter The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Lakers 120 to 118 in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center. Los Angeles, CA January 14, 2014.(John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

As he ascended from a low-level second round pick into a fixture onto the Lakers rotation, rookie forward Ryan Kelly attributed a key variable that explained such growth.

Oh, Kelly overcame a right foot injury that kept him out the entire 2013 offseason and parts of training camp. His basketball IQ made up for some of his physical shortcomings. Kelly’s work ethic expedited his learning curve. But he also credited Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system that puts a high value on so-called stretch forwards that can both shoot and space the floor tapping into that specific skillset.

Yet, despite D’Antoni’s resignation this week stemmed from the Lakers’ refusal to assure they would exercise his team option for the 2015-16 season, Kelly expressed confidence that he could still thrive in another system.

“I think I can play in multiple styles of offenses,” Kelly told this newspaper. “Obviously Coach D’Antoni is more spread out and that’s what I’m going to be, more of a stretch four. But I showed the ability to handle the ball and put the ball on the floor. Teams will always need somebody who can shoot. For guys my size, I can fit into any system.”
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Ryan Kelly helps secure free tacos for fans in Lakers’ 125-99 win over Suns

The crowd rose to its feet. The decibel level shook the ground as if another Earthquake rumbled through Los Angeles. And then the claps and the cheers continued.

In normal circumstances, the elation and the ensuing confetti that drops from the Staples Center ceiling coincides with another key Lakers’ victory or even an NBA championships. But this is not one of those seasons with the Lakers destined to miss the playoffs for only the fifth time in franchise history. So amid a depressing season, the non-sellout crowd of 18,355 fans at Staples Center clung onto something less significant.

A rare Lakers’ 125-99 win Sunday over the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center and the relative comfort that overpriced tickets to the game were offset with free tacos at Jack in the Box.

Ryan Kelly proved the catalyst in ensuring Laker fans would walk out of the arena with a coupon in their hands. Kelly jumped across the lane to block Dionte Christmas’ three-foot layup attempt with eight seconds remaining, capping a 90 second sequence in which the Suns went scoreless.

“I heard the chants going, so I knew I had to give the fans tacos,” Kelly said. “There haven’t been a lot of times this year where we held teams for under 100. So when you have that opportunity, you got to get it.”

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Ryan Kelly to start vs. Toronto

Ryan Kelly #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket past Gerald Wallace #45 of the Boston Celtics in the second half during the game at TD Garden on January 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Ryan Kelly #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket past Gerald Wallace #45 of the Boston Celtics in the second half during the game at TD Garden on January 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

TORONTO — Ryan Kelly is far from big time.

The Lakers rookie forward received a painful reminder of that when the team bus didn’t wait for him following the Lakers’ 107-104 victory Friday over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Even after posting a career-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting in 34 minutes, Kelly needed to hail a cab to go back to the team hotel.

The Lakers are noticing his progress, though. So much that Coach Mike D’Antoni said he will start Kelly over Jordan Hill at power forward when the Lakers (15-25) play the Toronto Raptors (20-18) on Sunday at Air Canada Centre.

“He’ll have to get used to playing every night and more minutes,” said D’Antoni, who traditionally prefers so-called stretch forward over bulkier big men. “The biggest thing is to keep him on the floor and out of foul trouble. He seems to have a tendency to do that. But he’s going to give us toughness, smarts, move the ball and hopefully he makes open shots.”
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Ryan Kelly advances in rehab

In a rehab that has taken longer than expected surrounding his surgically repaired right foot, Lakers second round draft pick Ryan Kelly made a few incremental improvements.

He said he has advanced toward running at 90 percent of his body weight on a treadmill, and plans to increase two percentage points of his body weight in subsequent days. Should that pan out, Kelly would run at his full body weight by Friday. Although he’s far from participating in full practices, Kelly also said he’s been cleared to take stationary mid-range jumpers.

The Lakers signed Kelly to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, meaning he would have to compete for a roster spot during training camp that holds 19 players. The 6’11″ Kelly from Duke could help the Lakers. His floor spacing and mid-range jumper helped him average 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots his senior season at Duke while shooting 42% from three-point range.

But he’s not expected to participate much in training camp, including appearing in any of the eight preseason games through Oct. 25. He had surgery in April to repair a screw that was initially inserted in his right foot in March 2012 to treat a broken bone. Because of that, Kelly didn’t have any pre-draft workouts and didn’t play on the Lakers’ summer league team.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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Lakers sign Ryan Kelly

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.
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Lakers taking cautious approach with Ryan Kelly

With a surgically repaired right foot still healing, there’s not much second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly could do with the Lakers.

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. Only nine days before Lakers’ training camp begins, Kelly spent part of Thursday running at 75 percent of his body weight on a treadmill. Although he described Kelly as “completely asymptomatic,” Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti said that the training staff has taken a conservative approach toward Kelly’s rehab, making it unclear when he will return to the court.
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