Lonzo Ball was beginning to turn a corner during the 2018-2019 NBA season before he unfortunately turned his ankle against the Houston Rockets.
Ball was diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain and is projected to be out for at least 4-6 weeks. With the 21-year-old out of the starting lineup, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram have picked up most of the ballhandling duties for head coach Luke Walton.
Although Ball will remain out for the foreseeable future, it appears he would be one of the centerpieces in a potential trade for Anthony Davis. Davis, who officially requested a trade through agent Rich Paul, wants out from the New Orleans Pelicans and the Lakers appear to be heavy favorites to land him.
However, Ball does not seem too keen on playing for the Pelicans, according to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
Although Lonzo Ball has no say in where he lands in a trade, his preference would be for the Lakers to find a third team such as Chicago or New York as a landing spot for the second-year point guard if he were part of a deal for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Ball has no control over where he lands given he is still under his rookie deal, but it is interesting to have this come out amidst the Davis news. This could be a ploy from Ball’s camp to get the Pelicans to sour on him as a player in a deal, but it should not deter them if a trade were to happen.
Ball has been a polarizing player in league circles as he has had his fair share of struggles on the offensive end despite proving to be a willing passer. His defensive chops have made up for some of his deficiencies, but his long-term outlook is murky at best if he does not improve his shooting.
With the trade deadline approaching, it is fair to wonder if the Pelicans will seriously consider trading Davis or waiting until July 1. Either way, expect the Lakers to make a hard push for the 25-year-old.