The Lakers introduced their only pick in the 2013 NBA draft on Wednesday, but Laker fans will have to wait awhile before seeing Ryan Kelly in action.
Kelly won’t play on the Lakers' summer league team because he is recovering from foot surgery. Kelly said he has resumed basketball activities but it will be a couple of weeks before he's at full speed.
“Coming off an injury it’s going to obviously take some time, but I’m excited to get out there and get comfortable again,” Kelly said. “I’m feeling great and I’m going to spend as much time here in L.A. as I can.”
The 6-foot-11 forward missed 13 games last season but averaged 12.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in helping Duke reach the Elite Eight. The Lakers selected Kelly in the second round with the 48th overall pick last month.
“It was an unbelievable feeling,” Kelly said of draft night. “I was with my family and friends and it couldn’t have been a better place for me. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at. I have a lot to prove.”
Kelly said Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski gave him advice on how to fit in with Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. The Raleigh, N.C., native said he sees himself filling a role as a stretch forward for the Lakers.
“As a guy with my size and my length who can shoot the basketball in Coach D’Antoni’s system, that’s certainly something he likes to play with,” Kelly said. “I think there is an opportunity there and I want to take advantage of that.”