Back in 2017, the Los Angeles Lakers spent their No. 2 overall pick on Ball, bypassing Jayson Tatum in the process. The gamble failed miserably. Ball never turned into the superstar the Lakers were expecting. He did end up being a focal point of the trade in which Los Angeles acquired Anthony Davis from New Orleans, though.
Ball has been with the Pelicans ever since, where he’s become a nice compliment to rising star Zion Williamson. But he’ll become become a restricted free agent this off-season. Several teams, apparently including the Lakers, are set to be in the mix.
Stein reported on Tuesday he expects the Lakers to pursue Ball, despite their obvious financial limitations. Los Angeles would like to add another play-maker, which would then allow LeBron James and Davis to man the forward positions.
“Word is that the Lakers, on top of their well-chronicled need for more shooting, covet one more difference-making playmaker who would allow James and Davis to spend more time at power forward and center,” Stein wrote, via his personal website.
“Expect to eventually hear of them searching for potential pathways, however obstacle-strewn they would be, to reacquiring restricted free agent-to-be Lonzo Ball for that reason.”
The NBA Finals resume Wednesday but it's time for trade talk on this Newsletter Tuesday … Ben Simmons trade talk specifically.
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A Lonzo Ball-Lakers reunion would be quite a sight. Los Angeles fans didn’t exactly treat him well, at least by the end of his two years with the organization.
The former UCLA star had his best ever scoring season in the NBA this year, though. He averaged 14.6 points per game while shooting 37.8 percent from three-point range and 41.4 percent overall. Ball also chipped in 5.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds a contest.
The Lakers’ path to acquiring Ball is full of obstacles. But it sounds like they’re going to prioritize such a quest.