Representatives for Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball would favor a move to a different team were he to be part of a Lakers trade package for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
Charania reported Ball doesn’t want to go to a franchise that has “an established point guard.” Elfrid Payton is New Orleans’ starting point guard, while Jrue Holiday has plenty of experience at the point as well.
Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski the five-time All-Star has asked the Pelicans to trade him, putting serious suitors such as the Lakers on high alert.
According to the Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner and Tania Ganguli, any offer from Los Angeles “would have to start with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and a first-round draft pick.”
Unfortunately for Ball, he has almost no leverage in this situation.
The 21-year-old isn’t a big enough star to be able to call his shot. He’s only in his second season and so far has failed to meet expectations after the Lakers selected him second overall in the 2017 draft.
His contract more than offsets whatever doubt he’d try to plant about his long-term future with a new team as well. Ball is under team control for at least three more seasons, and that’s assuming he takes a $14.3 million qualifying offer in 2021 rather than hit restricted free agency.
In general, Ball and his camp should rethink the optics of wanting to take the path of least resistance.
You gotta love Lonzo’s demand of “don’t make me earn my spot in the starting lineup”.
Ball would actually be a good fit for New Orleans, all things considered.
He would unquestionably take over for Payton as the Pelicans’ No. 1 option at point guard. They wouldn’t have acquired him to turn around and stick him on the bench. He may not have to play alongside Holiday for too long, either, since the 28-year-old Holiday might not want to sign up for a complete rebuild.
For the Ball family, Lonzo suiting up for the Lakers was always the dream. Reality, however, has intervened, and Ball should come to terms with the fact that his time in Los Angeles may be dwindling.