For a brief moment in time, it looked like LeBron James and Lonzo Ball would be part of a great resurgence for the Los Angeles Lakers. That didn’t end up being the case as the pair’s only season together in 2018-2019 ended with the team missing the playoffs. Ball was traded as part of the Anthony Davis trade and the rest is history.
However, LeBron has stayed in contact with the young guard. Ball recently appeared on Who’s Interviewing Who? and revealed that the best advice he ever got was from the Lakers superstar. LeBron saw the clip and sent a message to Ball.
After the trade for Davis went through, it would’ve been easy to assume that there might be some bad blood between the former Lakers players who were traded and LeBron. Clearly, that isn’t the case. Perhaps the two can play together again one day before the Lakers star retires.
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Ball Showed Improvement This Season
When the Lakers drafted Ball, he was supposed to be their next superstar. He was highly touted coming out of college and grew up near Los Angeles. He was drafted ahead of the likes of Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been as good as any of those guys.
However, he did show strong progress this season. Ball has become a dependable 3-point shooter. He made 37.8% off his shots from beyond the arc. Considering shooting was once considered his worst trait, those numbers are very promising and could continue to get better. He’s already a strong passer and defender. If can develop more as a scorer, he could be an All-Star one day. He’s only 23-years-old so there is time for him to grow.
Ball Is a Free Agent This Offseason
The most interesting part about LeBron’s message to Ball is the fact that he’s about to be a free agent for the first time. Top draft picks who aren’t flat-out busts usually sign an extension after their rookie deal because he’d be a restricted free agent otherwise. Right now, the Pelicans have the leverage if they hope to bring him back.
That said, New Orleans just paid Brandon Ingram big money and have will almost certainly be giving Zion Williamson a max contract in a couple of years. Depending on how much money Ball is demanding, they may not want to commit to him. There were rumblings that he could be traded at the trade deadline during the season so that shows that the Pelicans could want to move on.
If they don’t want him, a reunion with the Lakers wouldn’t be too out of left field. Ball clearly has a good relationship with LeBron, which is important. He’d also be a solid fit with the team as they could use some more shooting. He’d pretty much give the team what Dennis Schroder gave them and would likely be cheaper. Perhaps the Lakers are the team Ball was always meant to play for.