Ball (knee) -- who is out for Saturday's game against Dallas -- has progressed to doing drills at full speed, with the next step being taking some light contact from an assistant coach, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports.

Ball has missed 12 straight games while recovering from a left knee sprain, though he's making good progress. When he does return to the court, he'll have a new backcourt partner, as Isaiah Thomas was traded to the team from Cleveland at Thursday's trade deadline. Thomas is being eased into the rotation, beginning with coming off the bench for his debut Saturday against the Mavericks, but there's a strong implication that he'll eventually be a starter. It seems doubtful that will come at the expense of Ball's starting spot, so Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could be the one who ends up shifting to the pine.

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