Lakers head coach Luke Walton knows ya never put a ceiling on a player -- including Lonzo Ball.

So, when he was asked if Lonzo could be the next Kobe Bryant ... he didn't exactly rule it out.

Walton's clearly excited about his team -- telling us good things about the Lakers on his way out of Catch in L.A.

But does Walton REALLY think LaVar's kid can rack up stats like the 5-time NBA champ, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star, 2-time NBA scoring champ, 2008 NBA MVP, 11-time 1st Team All-NBA & Slam Dunk Contest champ?

Nah ... he was just being nice.