Lonzo Ball is one of the NBA’s most-polarizing players.
Some see a former No. 2 pick who can’t create his own shot, can’t shoot 3-pointers and is even worse on free throws and carries the distraction of his loudmouth dad.
Others see someone who excels at many little things like pushing the pace, possesses tremendous court vision, defends well and – at just 21 – is young enough to improve.
Perhaps, nobody’s evaluation of Ball matters more right now than the Pelicans’. With Anthony Davis requesting a trade, reportedly preferring the Lakers, Ball could be a key part of Los Angeles’ offer.
Although Lonzo Ball has no say in where he lands in a trade, his preference would be for the Lakers to find a third team such as Chicago or New York as a landing spot for the second-year point guard if he were part of a deal for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly.
According to sources, the Pelicans view Ball as a player who would become the starting point guard. They don’t see Jrue Holiday as a point guard because he “doesn’t want to be a point guard,” one source said.
The sources said the Pelicans would play Ball 35 minutes a night and make sure he “would fit” in with New Orleans so he could become a star.
I’m skeptical about New Orleans’ interest in Ball. It is certainly possible this is accurate. But, coming from Los Angeles, it could also be the Lakers’ spin. They obviously want Ball to be seen as in high demand and could misrepresent the Pelicans’ opinion.
As far as where Ball wants to play, his side keeps talking about it, but it remains largely irrelevant. He’s in just the second season of his four-year rookie-scale contract, and then he’ll head into restricted free agency. He holds nearly no leverage.