Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has been a fixture of trade rumors for the past several months, including a very recent one that suggested the Lakers were considering including him as part of a trade package to acquire John Wall from the Washington Wizards. However, if a new report is to be believed, Ball’s status as the Lakers’ point guard of the present and foreseeable future has not changed, as the team doesn’t appear to have any plans of shipping him off elsewhere.
In a report published Friday, Amico Hoops‘ Ben Stinar cited a league source as he wrote that the Lakers have not been shopping Ball around to other teams, including the Wizards, as of late. This went against a claim from Kevin Broom of Bullets Forever, who wrote earlier this week that he had checked with two unnamed NBA agents, who had both told him the Lakers were planning to trade Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Wizards for Wall. Broom added that Los Angeles was considering sending a third player — either Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, or Kyle Kuzma — to Washington in order to complete the deal.
Still citing unnamed league sources, Amico Hoops added that the Lakers have not included Ball in any other recent trade discussions with other teams.
Prior to the Lonzo Ball-for-John Wall trade rumor, the 21-year-old point guard was most notably mentioned as part of a purported trade package that would have allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire Kawhi Leonard in the 2018 offseason. But with CBS Sports noting that the Spurs were not interested in acquiring Ball, this potential deal fell through, as San Antonio instead traded Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl.
Although his current averages of 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 28.1 minutes per game are slightly down from his rookie averages, Lonzo Ball has stood out in the 2018-19 NBA season for his improved defense, Amico Hoops noted. The former second overall draft pick has also improved his shooting percentages across the board, as he is presently shooting 39 percent from the field, 33 percent from three-point range, and 57 percent from the free throw line, according to Basketball-Reference.
Beyond the numbers, Lakers head coach Luke Walton recently commended Ball for playing well alongside superstar forward LeBron James, suggesting that the two have “really started to build a nice connection” on the court, as quoted by Silver Screen and Roll.