Former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball is expected to be part of NBA trade rumors once again when the Los Angeles Lakers resume their pursuit of New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis in the 2019 NBA offseason. However, with the Boston Celtics set to join the bidding, most people believe that the Lakers have a lesser chance of acquiring Davis next summer. If they fail to land Davis, the Lakers still have the capability to chase for their second superstar in the 2019 NBA free agency.
As of now, one of the players that the Lakers are expected to target next July is Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics, who played alongside LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers for three NBA seasons. Knowing that they both play the point guard position, the successful acquisition of Irving could make Lonzo Ball the odd man out in Los Angeles. However, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report believes that the Ball-Irving backcourt tandem could work for the Lakers.
“But if the Lakers move on from Davis and land another ball-dominant guard like Kyrie Irving, Ball’s 6’6″ frame would be a good complement defensively. One of Ball’s strengths is that he doesn’t need the ball to affect the game, but he would need to master the catch-and-shoot three.”
When the Lakers acquired LeBron James in free agency, some people doubted if Lonzo Ball could excel when playing alongside another ball-dominant player. However, in the 2018-19 NBA season, Ball proved that he could still be a reliable contributor for the Lakers even when the ball isn’t on his hands. A potential Lakers’ starting backcourt featuring Ball and Kyrie Irving will undeniably be an interesting thing to see next season. But in order to make himself a better backcourt partner for Irving, Ball needs a huge improvement in his three-point shooting and as Pincus noted, master the catch-and-shoot three.
By improving his ability to space the floor, Pincus believes that Lonzo Ball will not only be a good fit playing alongside Kyrie Irving but also with other incoming free agent superstars like Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant.
“In truth, Ball’s skills could work alongside just about any star available this summer, whether it be Klay Thompson (one of the game’s elite perimeter defenders) or Kevin Durant. Ball can play with any of them—more so if he can become a true floor-spacer himself.”
Lonzo Ball has undeniably shown lots of potential in just two years of playing in the NBA. However, after the Lakers suffer another disappointing season, it remains a huge question mark if the Lakers still see him as part of their long-term future.