As the offseason approaches, rumors have started to swirl that no one on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster is untouchable, and they may reportedly consider trading one of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, or Josh Hart if an offer blows them away. In his recent piece, Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead suggested that it is time for the Lakers to trade Ball, citing his controversial father, LaVar, as the main reason why the rookie should be ejected from the Hollywood team.
LaVar Ball has made his name resound in the league even before his son Lonzo Ball was selected second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. When the Lakers struggled in the middle of the 2017-18 NBA season, LaVar criticized Coach Luke Walton, saying that he lost the respect of his players. A week ago, he blamed the Lakers training staff for the injuries that kept Lonzo out for 31 games in his rookie season.
As long as Lonzo Ball is with the Lakers, McIntyre believes his father will continue to be a headache in Los Angeles. Having a major distraction could somehow affect the Lakers’ goal to return to title contention. That’s why trading Ball in the upcoming offseason makes a lot of sense.
“It’s time the Lakers traded Lonzo to get the nuisance that is LaVar Ball away from the franchise. It’s OK to be a fan of Lonzo – as I am – and still think trading him makes sense. Lonzo had a solid rookie year, averaging 10.2 ppg, 7.9 apg and 6.9 rpg. He shot 36 percent from the field and just 30 percent on 3-pointers. He’s going to be an All-Star one day soon. But his dad’s mouth is a problem the franchise doesn’t need. Let him be someone else’s headache.”
McIntyre proposed two trade scenarios centered on Lonzo Ball, and the better deal for the Lakers is the one that involves Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets. In the hypothetical trade, the Lakers will be sending Ball, Luol Deng, and a 2019 first-round pick to the Hornets for Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The deal works on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
Acquiring a superstar like Walker will make the Lakers a more attractive destination for superstar free agents in the upcoming offseason. As McIntyre noted, Lakers’ top free-agent target LeBron James will only consider signing with Los Angeles if they have proven veterans that can help him win an NBA championship title next season. The projected starting lineup for the Lakers will be Walker, Ingram, Paul George, James, and Ivica Zubac. The presence of three superstars in L.A. may convince Brook Lopez to sign a veteran minimum deal with the Lakers this summer.
As of now, this is only one of the dream scenarios for the Lakers in the upcoming offseason. Despite LaVar’s recent criticism, there is no strong indication that the Lakers will make Lonzo Ball available on the trading block. Still, expect more rumors to circulate as the offseason draws near.