The San Antonio Spurs are entering an offseason that could change the entire outlook for their franchise. Kawhi Leonard has been the face of the Spurs since Tim Duncan decided to retire, but it appears that his time with the team may be coming to an end. Reports have stated that Leonard has asked for a trade out of San Antonio this offseason.
Multiple reports have stated that Leonard would like to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. San Antonio may not be inclined to trade Leonard to the Lakers, although there are a few intriguing trade chips that they could get back in return. Lonzo Ball is one of the names that has come up as a potential piece for San Antonio, but it doesn’t appear that he would be of interest.
According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, the Spurs have no interest in acquiring Ball in a trade that sends Leonard out of town.
“San Antonio has zero interest in Lonzo Ball — or, more accurately, the circus that Ball brings with him — but a Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, draft-pick(s) deal (with Luol Deng tossed in to make the money work) is compelling, particularly if other teams, wary of Leonard walking in 2019, don’t go all-in with offers.”
The “circus” that the report is referring to would mainly be Ball’s father, LaVar. He has continually made outrageous and at times disrespectful comments and has been a headache for Lakers’ management.
Ball is coming off of a disappointing rookie season in 2017-18. He was expected to step up as a top contender for the Rookie of the Year Award, but that didn’t end up happening.
During his rookie season, Ball ended up averaging just 10.2 points per game to go along with 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds. He shot 36.0 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 30.5 percent of his three-point attempts. To say that those numbers were lower than expected would be a major understatement.
At 20-years-old, Ball still has plenty of time to get things turned around. Los Angeles may not view him as untouchable in certain trade scenarios, which could make this offseason even more intriguing to watch for Lakers’ fans.
Gregg Popovich and company may not be interested in Ball, but it would make for an intriguing match. Ball is a true point guard and with the right coaching could become a dangerous scorer. That being said, it doesn’t appear likely that Ball will have the chance to learn from Popovich.
Expect to hear Ball’s name mentioned in trade rumors throughout the offseason. L.A. is looking to get back into championship contention and trading Ball will be considered for the right player.