The trade discussion between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans involving All-Star big man Anthony Davis continues to get serious as the February NBA trade deadline draws near. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps had multiple conversations on Monday where the former improved their offer to a trade package including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, future draft picks, and salary cap relief.
The Lakers and the Pelicans are yet to reach an agreement but they are facing a problem regarding one of the young players involved in the blockbuster trade — former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball. According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, LaVar Ball said that they don’t want his son to play in New Orleans. LaVar prefers Lonzo to be traded to a third team without an established superstar like the Phoenix Suns.
“We want to be in LA,” LaVar Ball told ESPN about his son’s future. “But if he’s traded, I don’t want Lonzo in New Orleans. Phoenix is the best fit for him. And I am going to speak it into existence.”
That seems to be a reasonable request from Lonzo Ball’s camp. Trading Ball to the Pelicans means that he will be battling for playing time at the point guard position against Jrue Holiday, who is under contract with New Orleans until the 2021-22 NBA season. Having lesser role and limited playing time will slow down Ball’s development into a legitimate NBA superstar in the NBA.
The Pelicans don’t have any problem with Lonzo Ball heading to Phoenix, but they want to receive a good return from the Suns. Unfortunately, despite their need of a starting caliber point guard, the Suns aren’t willing to give the Pelicans’ demand which is their top-5 protected 2019 first-round pick or their 2020 first-round pick. On Twitter, Brandon Robinson of Scoop B revealed that the Suns only offered a trade package including Josh Jackson and a future second-round pick.
“Davis to LA may have hit a snag. The Pelicans want a bigger haul for Lonzo Ball going to Suns. Pelicans have asked for either Phoenix’s Top 5 protected 2019 FRP or unprotected 2020 FRP. Phoenix does not want to give a first and has only offered Josh Jackson and a 2nd.”
Lonzo Ball will undeniably be a great addition to the Suns, giving them a pass-first point guard who fits the timeline of the face of the franchise, Devin Booker. However, the Suns don’t seem to be in a rush to address their backcourt issue since they could also look for a starting caliber point guard in the 2019 NBA Draft or free agency.