Although Los Angeles Lakers fans are looking forward to LeBron James’ eventual debut with the team once the 2018-19 NBA season kicks off, rumors and reports have suggested that one of the Lakers’ top young players, point guard Lonzo Ball, has injury issues that might be more serious than once thought. Now it also appears that the Lakers, who have frequently been rumored to be considering including Ball in a trade package to acquire San Antonio Spurs forward/guard Kawhi Leonard, are allegedly unhappy with Ball’s camp for supposedly trying to keep Lonzo in Los Angeles by leaking out news of his torn meniscus.
The rumor comes courtesy of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who said in this week’s episode of his eponymous podcast, The Woj Pod, that the Los Angeles Lakers wanted to keep Lonzo Ball’s injury a secret because there are a lot of teams that are interested in acquiring the 20-year-old point guard via trade. According to Wojnarowski, Ball’s camp might have leaked out his injury status in order to prevent any trade talks from happening.
“I don’t think the Lakers wanted anyone to know, and I think there is a belief around there that that information was put out there from around Ball’s sphere to keep from getting traded because if teams knew he was having knee surgery they’re not trading for him. I think there was concern there that he might be put in a deal,” said Wojnarowski, as quoted by Silver Screen and Roll.
Hearing Lonzo Ball’s name in trade rumors despite his injury is not uncommon these days, as the NBA offseason continues in full swing. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Lakers have recently been rumored to be interested in acquiring DeMar DeRozan from the Toronto Raptors, a deal that might require them to trade some of their young players, such as Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and/or Josh Hart. However, not all rumors or suggested trade scenarios have mentioned Ball as potential trade bait for the Lakers’ purported trade plans in the ongoing offseason.
As an example of the latter, Bleacher Report proposed a package featuring Kuzma, Hart, veteran small forward Luol Deng, and a 2019 first-round pick if the Lakers are interested in reuniting Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center Kevin Love with LeBron James. As for actual rumors, Yahoo Sports reported in June that the Spurs have “zero interest” in Lonzo Ball if he were to be traded for Kawhi Leonard, but mentioned the presence of Lonzo’s camp, including his controversial father LaVar Ball, as the main reason behind the supposed lack of interest.