After suffering a huge disappointment in his first year playing alongside LeBron James, former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball found himself being included in the trade package that the Los Angeles Lakers sent to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire All-Star center Anthony Davis. While the Lakers are currently emerging as one of the heavy favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, most people see the Pelicans heading into an inevitable rebuild in the post-Davis era.
However, though they are currently not in good terms, Lonzo Ball’s outspoken father, LaVar Ball, still believes that the Pelicans have what it takes to remain competitive in the Western Conference next season. In an interview with TMZ Sports, Ball went as far as saying that Lonzo and the Pelicans will be winning the 2020 NBA championship title.
“They’re gonna take it all this year, for sure,” LaVar said.
There are plenty of reasons why LaVar Ball thinks that Lonzo Ball will find success in his current stint with the Pelicans. Unlike in the first two years he wore the Purple and Gold, LaVar said that in New Orleans, Lonzo will finally have a “coach” behind him.
“All you need to be successful in the NBA, ya gotta have a coach be behind you. And, Alvin Gentry is that guy,” LaVar said. “What did Gentry say? He wants [The Pelicans] to play the fastest pace. That’s Lonzo’s best game!”
Also, LaVar Ball believes that being on a team mostly consisting of young players will be beneficial for his son. Compared to the Lakers where he shared the court with a ball-dominant superstar like LeBron James, LaVar said that Lonzo will be having more ball touches with the Pelicans which will greatly help him in maximizing his full potential on the court. However, LaVar made it clear that he’s not taking a shot at James nor saying that Zion Williamson is a better teammate for Lonzo.
“If you gonna run and pass the ball and play the right way, Zo will play with anybody. So, it’s not that Zion is better than Lebron or Lebron is better… anybody with an IQ that can play the game of basketball, [Lonzo’s] fine playing with.”
Even without Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball and the Pelicans are indeed capable of making a huge noise in the deep Western Conference next season. Though their roster is mostly consisting of young players like Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Zion Williamson, the Pelicans also have some quality veterans like Jrue Holiday, J.J. Redick, and Derrick Favors. If they grow together and build chemistry, the Pelicans have a strong chance of earning a playoff spot in the Western Conference. However, unlike what LaVar Ball predicted, it remains a big question mark if the Pelicans really have what it takes to win the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.