Report: LeBron James told Lakers he’s excited to play with Lonzo Ball


Remember when NBA teams generally agreed LaVar Ball wouldn’t deter them from acquiring Lonzo Ball.

That sure changed in a hurry.

The Spurs reportedly don’t want Lonzo and the accompanying circus in return for Kawhi Leonard.

Do the Lakers still want Lonzo after nabbing LeBron James? LeBron and LaVar beefed last year, and the Lakers just signed Rajon Rondo at point guard.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

I’m skeptical LeBron said this. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. But it sounds like the type of thing the Lakers would put out to keep up appearances, accurate or not.

Lonzo is a smart player with high-end court vision and passing ability, and he could fit fine with LeBron. A good cutter and lob-finisher, Lonzo brings off-ball skills. It’d help if he shot better from beyond the arc, but I wouldn’t rule that out. Despite his funky motion, he was more effective at UCLA and maybe needed a year to adjust to the deeper NBA arc.

But then there’s LaVar, who threatens to annoy the heck out of LeBron with attention-grabbing stunts. The Lakers have added goofballs in JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson, so maybe LeBron is cool with the noise. But, if he tires of LaVar, LeBron also wields the power to get Lonzo traded.

It might depend on the return Lonzo would fetch and how Rondo is playing. Neither Lonzo nor Rondo is a clear championship-level starting point guard at this point. Generally, the Lakers are smart to hedge their bets rather than rely on solely Lonzo.

LeBron famously gave Lonzo advice after a Lakers-Cavaliers game last season. So, there is a connection.

Strong enough to keep Lonzo in Los Angeles with LeBron? I’m in wait-and-see mode, though this report nudges me slightly toward the affirmative.