LaVar Ball Speaks out on Lonzo’s Situation, Sparks Rumors of Warriors Trade

Lonzo Ball

Getty Lonzo Ball brings the ball up the court in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

LaVar Ball wants to see son Lonzo on a new team, and the timing of his remarks has some pointing to the Golden State Warriors as a potential destination.

The Warriors have been connected to Ball in the past, and the New Orleans Pelicans guard’s dad seems to have revived the rumors after saying this week that his son’s time in the Big Easy may be drawing to a close.

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LaVar Wants Lonzo Moved

In an appearance on ESPNLA’s “Mazon & Ireland” show this week, LaVar Ball said he hopes that his son’s time in New Orleans is nearing its end as he believes the team was not utilizing him correctly.

“Lonzo’s always been a playmaker. Why are you trying to change him into a defensive specialist that stays in the corner and shoots 3s?” Ball said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “And you trying to change Zion [Williamson] and Brandon Ingram — who all through their careers have never been playmakers — now you want to put the ball in their hands.”

While LaVar Ball musing about his son’s playing career is not out of the norm, the timing of his comments did raise some eyebrows. As NBC Sports Bay Area reported, he appeared on the ESPNLA program just after another famous basketball dad — Mychal Thompson, father of injured Warriors guard Klay Thompson. In his appearance, the elder Thompson said he hoped to see Lonzo playing with his son next season.

“Lonzo can play,” he said. “I wish he was on the Warriors passing the ball to Steph [Curry] and Klay.”

While it was not clear whether LaVar Ball was implying that his son may move to Golden State, the NBC Sports Bay Area report noted that there could be a groundwork between the two teams as the Pelicans inquire about Kelly Oubre earlier this season.

Lonzo May Move Elsewhere

The Pelicans guard may have another destination in mind. Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that the New York Knicks would be “heavily on Ball’s radar” when he becomes a restricted free agent after this season. The report noted that this would seem to please his father, who is looking to move his sons into major markets.

“It’s no surprise Ball would consider the Knicks an attractive destination,” Berman wrote. “His father, LaVar Ball, wanted the Knicks to find a way to draft his point-guard son, LaMelo, the favorite for Rookie of the Year who also wound up in a smallish market with Charlotte.”

Berman noted that the Pelicans passed on giving Ball a rookie contract extension, and the franchise historically wary of luxury-tax implications would be unlikely to match an offer sheet higher than $18 million.

As CBS Sports noted, Ball has found his shooting touch this season, shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. He has been particularly strong over the last two months, shooting 43.9 percent on three-pointers on 7.9 attempts per game since February 1. Some insiders have suggested that the Warriors may be looking for shooting help at the trade deadline, though general manager Bob Myers has said that any moves would be focused on building long-term success rather than a short-term playoff push.

READ NEXT: Insider Identifies 2 Warriors Starters Who May Be Shipped in Deadline Deal

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