With just one week left until the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline, the rumor mill is churning non-stop. While one blockbuster deal happened Thursday afternoon, the one that most have been waiting for has not progressed much since initial discussions.
The Lakers finally got a hold of Pelicans general manager Dell Demps and have issued their potential trade scenarios for Anthony Davis. In the one that has been reported, to no one’s surprise, most of the Lakers young core was involved. That includes second-year point guard Lonzo Ball who appears to be the most intriguing returning piece for the Pelicans.
But Ball and his camp have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want the young prospect in New Orleans due to Jrue Holiday’s presence in the backcourt. They prefer a third team to take him, one that would offer more minutes and a bigger market. The Bulls and Knicks have been rumored destinations and the Suns have been added to the list, according to the LA Times’ Tania Ganguli:
After learning of the Lakers’ offers to the Pelicans, Lonzo Ball’s camp maintains that New Orleans isn’t the desired destination. Phoenix makes the most basketball sense if Ball were to be traded and according to two sources there is mutual interest.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) January 31, 2019
Ultimately, Ball doesn’t have control over his future. He can be traded anywhere by the Lakers and he is under contract for two more seasons, at which point he would only become a restricted free agent.
Nevertheless, Ball’s camp making these declarations does make things slightly murkier. If the Pelicans are hell-bent on Lonzo being part of the return package for Davis, would they be willing to make that trade even if the point guard (or his camp) don’t want him there? There would not be much risk for New Orleans, but they are just about to get rid of one disgruntled star. Who knows if they want to deal with something similar in another year.