Lakers Reunion With Lonzo Ball Labeled as ‘Bulls–t’

Getty Images Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans

There are rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers could look to reunite with Lonzo Ball, although not everyone is convinced that the former No. 2 overall pick returning the franchise that drafted him is a feasible idea.

Lonzo — who will be a restricted free agent this offseason — has been floated as a possible option for the Lakers. Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein reported this week that the Lakers are seeking a play-making guard that could allow James to shift into more of a power forward role and Anthony Davis to the center position. He eliminated Sixers star Ben Simmons from the possible options for the 2020 champs, however, Ball was highlighted as a player of interest.

“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,” Stein wrote.

Ball was dealt to New Orleans in the deal that brought Anthony Davis to Los Angeles. It doesn’t look like the Pelicans are too interested in bringing him back next season, especially if it involves a steep price tag, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. He reported that New Orleans is unlikely to match a significant offer sheet on Ball.

Ball is coming off what was his most complete season as a pro. He averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 37.8% from the 3-point line.

BR: Lonzo Ball Not Great Fit With Lakers

While those loyal to the purple and gold would be intrigued to see what Lonzo looks like playing alongside James and Davis, it’s not a great fit, per Dan Favale of Bleacher Report. And a sign-and-trade within the conference makes a deal even less likely.

To the Lakers’ credit, they are not bereft of worthwhile offers. Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 pick isn’t nothing. Whether it’s enough to sway the Pelicans on Lonzo is a separate matter. They are invested in the Lakers’ long-term demise, so sending them a legitimately helpful player feels counterintuitive.

The Pelicans’ half-court attack imploded whenever he played without Zion Williamson, and the Lakers’ commitment to getting out in transition helps only so much. Insofar as a sign-and-trade splash is within reach, they need to prioritize someone better equipped to torch set defenses with rim pressure and off-the-dribble shot-making.

The Lakers relied on Dennis Schroder last season. The German guard is a free agent this offseason and is looking to cash in with a big payday. The Lakers have his Bird rights, which allows them to go over the salary cap to re-sign him. However, it’s uncertain if the Lakers value him enough to go that route considering his uneven play

Klutch Connection Could Help Get Ball to LA

One thing the Lakers have going for them is that Ball is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The Lakers have quite the connection to Klutch, with James, Davis, Montrezl Harrell, Markieff Morris, Talen Horton-Tucker, Ben McLemore and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all being represented by Paul’s agency.

Paul recently spoke on Ball’s pending free agency and what to expect.

“We’re open-minded. In free agency, we all understand what that is in this landscape of business,” Paul told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “He’s a really good young player with the ability to become a great player. And so I think there’s a lot of interests there. We’re open-minded. The phone lines will definitely be open come free agency. At the end of the day, we’ll look to make the best deal.”

Will that best deal come from the Lakers? We’ll find out this offseason if the Klutch connection continues.

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