The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to find a play-making guard to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis following an ugly first-round exit in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Meanwhile, a bit further east, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball is slated to become a restricted free agent next month. Ball, 23, was the No. 2 pick of the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2017 before being dealt to the Bayou in the Anthony Davis blockbuster ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Now, we’re hearing some whispers that the Lakers are interested in reacquiring Ball this summer.
“Expect to eventually hear of them searching for potential pathways, however obstacle-strewn they would be, to reacquiring restricted free agent-to-be Lonzo Ball for that reason,” veteran NBA reported Marc Stein noted recently.
Coming off a career-best performance in 2020-21 that saw him average 14.6 points and 5.7 assists on 38% shooting from distance, Ball would be a great get for the Lakers. In fact, he’d be a marked upgrade from another pending free agent in Dennis Schroder.
Finances are an issue here. Los Angeles wouldn’t be able to sign Ball outright due to its salary cap situation and the fact that he might be looking at $20 million annually on the open market. This means a sign-and-trade with the Pelicans would have to be in the cards.