The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off quite a trade to kick off the NBA offseason to acquire superstar big man Anthony Davis. There were a lot of rumors pointing to trades of young players to acquire the star with Lonzo and Ingram being a key part of it. All of this came to fruition as the Lakers made the deal with the Pelicans. However, pulling off the trade led to the loss of young point guard Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram, who will have fresh starts with the New Orlean Pelicans franchise.
The Lakers also gave up three first-round picks to acquire Davis. Lonzo Ball recently shared his first comments via video from The Render Twitter page since being traded away in an interesting narrative tone.
According to the guards’ tone, he seems to be pleased that he was traded from the Lakers franchise and in getting a fresh start with another team. According to an article from Sporting News, the guard commented, “You probably heard the news, its good news in my opinion.” He continued to state that he was thrilled and is excited to be playing for his new team stating, “I got traded, that was good… Now we’re going to be taking the show to New Orleans.”
There is no doubt that the Lakers did not hold up to expectations to a Finals Conference appearance or championship after signing LeBron James last summer and with all the young talent around him. The first year in the LeBron era was truly filled with injuries as Ball suffered a severe ankle sprain during the second half of the season that limited him to just 47 games this season. The guard averaged “9.9 points, 5.4 assists while shooting 32.9% from 3-point range.”
Lonzo Ball has a lot of promise with his skillset but has been plagued by injuries in his first two years in the NBA and has widely been criticized for his jump shot, citing that could be one of the main reasons he has not excelled as the number 2 overall pick in the draft. Magic Johnson picked Lonzo Ball to reinvigorate the Lakers franchise and is no longer the President of Basketball Operations for the team.
Although many were questioning the Lakers front office and with all the turmoil around, they were able to pull off the trade to get another big star in L.A. The pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis could be something special and daunting for many teams in the league to stop.
Father LaVar Ball was also able to make headlines once again about his son’s departure from the Los Angeles Lakers by calling the culture of the Lakers ‘raggedy’ cited in an article from USA Today. LaVar Ball was happy that he was traded from the team and seems to agree with his son that it is a new beginning for the guard.
In the past, Lavar Ball has lamented and disagreed with what the Lakers were trying to do with his son and believed that he was not getting put in the best position to succeed. It was unfortunate at the time that Lonzo got injured because it seemed a switch had been flipped as the guard was playing better with more minutes, either hitting teammates with pinpoint passes like during the first two years, or pulling up in transition for 3-pointers or layups.
Another improvement to Lonzo’s game is his defense that helped out a lot with the Lakers playoff chances and once he went out drastically declined as a unit. There are still some adjustments that Lonzo Ball has to make with being more aggressive and in improving his shooting but he has shown positive signs in the past season. Free-throw shooting remains the biggest concern for the player.
New Orleans future
The New Orleans Pelicans have nothing to be worried about even when it comes to losing a big talent like Anthony Davis because they were able to get a lot of assets in return with three first-round picks and the additions of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart.
The Pelicans surprisingly got the first pick in the latest NBA draft and were also able to acquire phenom Duke star Zion Williamson with their number one overall pick. There is no question that the Pelicans will have a lot of talent around them with a young nucleus paired with Jrue Holiday and others. According to the article from Sporting News, they were also able to add Jaxson Hayes, Marcos Louzada Silva, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker from the draft.
It surely will be interesting to see the pair of Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball with the guard throwing passes to Williamson at the rim or in transition. Brandon Ingram is another piece to the puzzle for the Pelicans as he could be a great player for them but it has to be seen how he will fare after suffering from blood clots towards the end of the season.
Regardless, the New Orleans Pelicans have a lot to look forward to next season and the Lakers equally with two big stars pairing together to win a title as the West is wide open with the Warriors injuries and uncertainty with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. It will have to be seen whether Lonzo Ball can become the star many thought he would become while with his new team.