Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has been the subject of a plethora of trade rumors since the moment he was taken with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. The latest such rumors have mostly linked him to the Chicago Bulls, with the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson suggesting earlier in May that the team is interested in bringing Ball over to team with promising young big men Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter and high-scoring guard Zach LaVine. But would the Lakers be willing to trade Ball to Chicago if it meant the Bulls taking part in a three-way deal that would allow Los Angeles to acquire New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis?
In a report published Friday, USA Today‘s Lonzo Wire brought up the aforementioned possibility, stressing that at the present, the Lakers “don’t have any incentive” to trade Ball due to their lack of depth at point guard. But if the Lakers end up signing a top-caliber free agent point guard such as the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving or the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker, the team could entertain trade offers for Ball, especially if these offers could help them acquire Davis in the 2019 offseason.
According to Lonzo Wire‘s Christian Rivas, the Bulls could offer their No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, a future first-rounder, and erstwhile starting point guard Kris Dunn in a three-way trade that would send all these assets to the New Orleans Pelicans. Meanwhile, this trade proposal would have the Lakers sending Ball to the Bulls and shipping their own package of youngsters and draft picks — Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Moritz Wagner, the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, and their own future first-round selection — to the Pelicans.
Lastly, Anthony Davis would end up on the Lakers if such a trade takes place, finally allowing Los Angeles to acquire the All-NBA forward/center after failing to do so prior to the February trade deadline. Per Lonzo Wire, rookie signing restrictions would only allow this trade to go through on July 20, at the very earliest.
NBA executives believe that Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James playing together in Los Angeles next season is 'very realistic,' @IanBegley reports https://t.co/nSwrQYzlli pic.twitter.com/ZY0rAPoBIt
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 16, 2019
In addition to the above player movements, Lonzo Wire‘s Rivas suggested that the Pelicans could offload the contracts of veteran wingman Solomon Hill and guard E’Twaun Moore to Chicago, as the Bulls have enough salary cap space to add them to their roster.
Analyzing the possibility of the above deal pushing forward, Rivas pointed out that it would depend largely on “how high” the Bulls are on Ball. He added that Chicago could afford to give up two first-round picks, including this year’s No. 7 pick, for the 21-year-old point guard because of his defensive potential and the overall improvements he made before his 2018-19 season was cut short due to injuries.
While the above trade idea could potentially transform the Lakers into a championship contender and give the Pelicans a nice young core to build around, an earlier report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, as quoted by Forbes, stressed that New Orleans is “not interested in making a deal” with Los Angeles. The publication also cited information from Bleacher Report‘s Ken Berger, who suggested that Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin is “committed” to ensuring Davis remains in New Orleans despite his public trade request midway through the 2018-19 regular season.