Once the Lakers signed LeBron James the conversation around the team immediately switched to how he fits with the current roster. Much of those discussions centered around how the team would be able to add another superstar to play alongside him, and whether it would come in free agency or at the expense of their young core in a trade.
With names like Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal being touted as options for the Lakers second star the Lakers young core has been on trade watch. However, it seems the front office is reluctant to include some of their young assets. According to Ken Berger of Bleacher Report, rival executives believe Lonzo Ball will not be part of any discussions.
In the West, the Lakers have to be part of the conversation because of the LeBron James factor, though it’s not clear to rival executives whom they’re willing to trade in any deal and whom they aren’t.
“At one point a month ago, they were dangling Lonzo [Ball] a little bit, but now they don’t want to trade him,” one of the execs said.
In James’ absence, Ball has played incredibly well and has seemingly shaken off his slow start to the season. The second-year point guard is playing the best basketball of his career and has shown vital improvements from his rookie year. All that included is likely a strong basis as to why the Lakers might not want to include Ball.
Although, he isn’t the only player they might not be listening to offers for according to Berger’s sources.
Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and Moritz Wagner are available, rival executives say, while pretty much everyone else is off the table. To get Beal, it’s going to take a lot more than that.
It’s worth noting that rival executives sometimes aren’t the most credible sources but this would be a pretty interesting development. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma being left out of trade discussions is not something most people predicted because they’d likely have to get rid of at least one of them in a trade for another superstar this season.
As the trade deadline approaches it’s worth monitoring if the team’s front office changes their stance on trading the young core but for now, it seems as if most of them are firmly safe.