For most of the 2018 offseason and the months leading up to the NBA’s February trade deadline, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball was the subject of countless trade rumors, including more than a few that suggested he would be among the players heading to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. However, Ball stressed in a recent interview that he doesn’t let these rumors bother him, as he wants to focus on playing as well as he could, regardless of which team he plays for.
As quoted by Silver Screen and Roll, Ball told The Athletic‘s Shams Charania in an interview published Wednesday that he plans to work on improving his game in the coming summer, once he recovers from the ankle injury that will likely keep him out for the rest of the 2018-19 regular season. He also commented on the trade rumors that constantly swirl around him, emphasizing that there are many things that are out of any NBA player’s control.
“If I get traded, then I get traded. But I’m going to be ready to go. The goal is to be the best player I can for whichever team.”
Although much has been said about Lonzo Ball and the many reports suggesting he could be headed to one team or another, Charania also broke down some of these trade rumors, including those that suggested Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart would be sent to the Pelicans as part of a package for Anthony Davis. He also cited sources who claimed NBA teams were “attempting to gather information” on Ball’s health in the summer of 2018, as his rookie campaign in 2017-18 also ended early due to injuries.
“He has several steps remaining to be cleared for full basketball activities, but teams will clearly go through the same process this summer if he becomes a trade target,” Charania continued.
As opined by Silver Screen and Roll, Ball’s interview with The Athletic showed that, for a player as young as he is, he’s “very good at understanding the right thing to say.” However, the outlet also brought up how it could be hard to take the 21-year-old Ball too seriously, considering the past rumors that suggested he and/or his representatives had specific preferences with regard to trade destinations. This included speculation that Ball had only decided to undergo surgery in the 2018 offseason after it was reported he would be among the players traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.
In addition, ESPN reported in February that Lonzo Ball’s father, Big Baller Brand founder LaVar Ball, was pushing for the Lakers to involve the Phoenix Suns in their attempts to trade for Davis, due to his belief that the Pelicans wouldn’t be a good fit for Lonzo.