Before the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James to a four-year contract, Lonzo Ball was the frequent subject of trade rumors, as many outlets mentioned his name as a possible trade piece that Lakers could give up in order to acquire a superstar like James. However, the rumors continued to swirl even after LeBron’s arrival, not only because James has mostly played alongside proven veterans at point guard, but also because these reports pointed to the Lakers wanting to add a second superstar to the lineup. Still, it would seem that the 20-year-old point guard hasn’t been too affected by the talk behind the scenes, as he suggested in a recent episode of his family’s Facebook reality series.
According to USA Today‘s Lonzo Wire blog, Ball appeared unfazed by the trade talks that surrounded him this offseason when he commented on the issue on an episode of Ball in the Family.
“There’s trade rumors every year,” Ball said.
“Athletes in general, you’re never really 100 percent safe, wherever you’re at. Anything can happen, especially in the offseason, so all I can do is just make sure I’m ready to play at the best of my abilities.”
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) September 4, 2018
As further noted by Lonzo Wire, Ball’s name was most memorably mentioned in a trade rumor that included him in a package the Lakers were supposedly willing to surrender to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard. Reports at the time suggested that the Spurs turned down the offer because they weren’t interested in Ball joining the team. These trade rumors also suggested that Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, and the rest of his camp leaked news of a knee injury so that he could remain in Los Angeles and still play for the Lakers, according to CBS Sports.
As a Los Angeles Lakers rookie picked second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ball was named an All-Rookie Second Team selection at the end of the 2017-18 season. While he missed significant parts of the year due to injuries, Ball started in 50 out of the 52 games he played in and averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
With Leonard eventually getting traded to the Toronto Raptors in a deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio, and the Lakers seemingly saving their next superstar acquisition for the 2019 offseason, the Lonzo Ball trade rumors have mostly quieted down. However, Lonzo Wire suggested that there’s always the possibility that things could change for the Lakers, and that the incoming second-year point guard will get shipped off to another team before the 2018-19 trade deadline.