If the Los Angeles Lakers dive headfirst back into Anthony Davis trade talks, it appears Lonzo Ball may not be a part of the conversation. After Ball’s name was linked to various trade rumors prior to the deadline during the 2018-19 NBA season, it seems the front office has had a change of heart.
As Hoops Demand revealed, the latest report which comes from ESPN Radio LA 710 on Friday, states that the Lakers do not want to include Ball in any trades this summer.
“According to Lakers brass (ESPN radio LA 710) #LakeShow does NOT want to include @ZO2_ in any offers this summer and feel he can turn into an elite Point Guard for them moving forward.” Hoops Demand tweeted.
The timing of this is certainly interesting, as it comes when many believe that Ball’s trade value is as high as it’s ever been, even with the 21-year-old sidelined due to an ankle injury.
Lakers Struggles Without Lonzo Ball
While the LeBron James-led Lakers will miss the NBA playoffs this season, much was made about the fact that the star forward missed extended time due to injury. That obviously played a role in the team failing to make the postseason, but Ball’s injury was a big deal as well. The Lakers’ struggles without Ball were apparent down the stretch of the season, and it’s made him an even more intriguing trade asset.
Ball hasn’t played since suffering the ankle injury on January 19 against the Houston Rockets. Since that point, the Lakers have gone 10-22 and four of those victories came after March 24 when the team was already essentially eliminated from the postseason.
While the talented second-year point guard may not have saved the team’s season, he could have been a big part of helping them get into the playoffs and avoid this late-season slide.
Lonzo Ball’s 2018-19 Stats & Outlook
The former No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft will wrap up his sophomore campaign by playing in 47 games and posting marks of 9.9 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds. Although the numbers are down from his rookie year, his shooting percentage increased from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Beyond that, he improved as the season went on in a number of key areas.
Ball played in roughly 10 games (including the one he got injured) during the month of January. Over that stretch, he posted marks of 11.1 points, 7.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and shot 36.4 percent from 3-point range. It was Ball’s most well-rounded month of the season and his impact on the defensive end was pivotal as well.
Prior to the injury, the Lakers had won four of six, with the 6-foot-6 guard scoring in double figures four times and dishing out at least five assists in every game.