An NBA trade involving the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball in a draft deal which featured the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis was considered at one time. The deal would have involved three teams with the Boston Celtics actually winding up with Porzingis, though. It would have given the Boston Celtics a premier big man to go along with Isaiah Thomas on last season’s top team in the East. It also would have thwarted LaVar Ball’s plans to see his son become a Laker. As of right now, the two players are with their respective teams but at one time the former NY Knicks president Phil Jackson was actually “toying” with the idea of making a big trade to land the UCLA prospect.
According to Bleacher Report, the latest trade rumors and news came via NBA analyst Peter Vecsey while on The HoopsHype Podcast with Alex Kennedy. Vecsey mentioned that Jackson was trying to pull off a major trade with the Boston Celtics to acquire their No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Kristaps Porzingis was the player being dangled in many trade rumors so that the Knicks could move up considerably from their spot in the draft. If they’d managed to get that deal with Boston, they would have apparently selected Lonzo Ball at the top spot, taking away the Lakers’ chances at having the guy they wanted.
Vecsey said that Jackson was highly interested in acquiring Lonzo Ball, but that the deal probably wouldn’t be accepted.
“People knew, they probably wouldn’t have accepted, but Phil was angling to try to trade Porzingis for the No. 1 pick to Boston and he would have taken [Lonzo] Ball. That’s who he was after. In the end, people might really like that.”
Despite multiple rumors and reports that Jackson was trying to make an NBA draft trade for a higher pick, nothing fell through. One of the rumors was that the Knicks had a trade discussion with the Dallas Mavericks, who didn’t have a higher pick but may have had quality players and assets to offer. New York ended up staying at their spot and drafting international guard Frank Ntilikina which has drawn plenty of criticism due to the fact there may have been a better prospect available still, such as Kentucky’s Malik Monk.
The Knicks have, of course, parted ways with Phil Jackson and have rebuilt their front office. In a recent NY Daily News report, the new team president Steve Mills said he would have drafted Ntilikina as well and is “comfortable” with the team’s pick. There also appears to be potential on the horizon for a rebuild centered around Kristaps Porzingis as the main star, unless they decide to completely reboot the roster. Right now, Carmelo Anthony is still a New York Knick and has stated his desire for a trade to the Houston Rockets, but nothing has gone through just yet. A trade with several teams involved could possibly bring the Knicks some new cornerstones for their roster, or better future draft picks.
So the Phil Jackson era is over and Lonzo Ball is still a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. However, if this trade had gone through, it could have sent major shockwaves through the league and fanbases. Not only would Jackson have orchestrated a huge trade during his time as the team president, but he would have robbed the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans of the new “face of their franchise.” Luckily for L.A. faithful, Lonzo is wearing the purple and gold heading into the 2017-18 NBA season.
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