Lonzo Ball’s name is floating around in recent NBA trade rumors, but it is still clear at this point that the Los Angeles Lakers will try to keep him. However, things could change if the Lakers get an offer that could put them in a better position to compete in the next several seasons.
The Lakers will look to acquire marquee players starting this summer in the hopes of becoming a serious contender again. According to Jason Reed of LA Sports Hub, the Lakers should trade Ball to acquire Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker. While Ball could become an All-Star in several years, Reed said the deal makes sense for the Lakers.
Walker is one of the best guards in the league. The 27-year-old guard is averaging 23.0 points on top of 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game this season. He was mentioned in trade rumors earlier this month, but Hornets owner Michael Jordan told The Charlotte Observer that he will only trade Walker if they will get an All-Star in return.
Reed said that the Hornets might agree to part ways with Walker in a deal involving Ball. Walker will become a free agent after the 2018-19 NBA season, and Charlotte is expected to try to get valuable assets instead of losing the two-time All-Star for nothing.
Trading Ball might also help the Lakers shed Luol Deng’s expensive contract. Deng is only in the second season of his four-year, $72 million contract. In order to get rid of Deng’s contract, it is almost necessary for the Lakers to trade him along with one of their young stars. Reed believes Los Angeles should trade Ball instead of Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma because it will be easier for the Lakers to “replace a distributing guard” like Ball.
Reed also agreed that trading Ball will free the Lakers from distractions brought by his father, LaVar Ball. It was earlier reported that the Lakers will have a difficult time attracting stars because of LaVar. Lonzo’s father has made headlines over the past several weeks because of his public statements about the Lakers.
Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports said earlier this month that LeBron James, Los Angeles’ top target in free agency this summer, might snub the Lakers because of LaVar. Cowherd said that James “has no interest in joining the circus” in Los Angeles caused by LaVar’s antics.