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Report: Pelicans View Lonzo Ball As Starter Who Could Become Star

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

As Lonzo Ball recovers from a Grade 3 ankle sprain, his name has been mentioned since Anthony Davis officially requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.

While the Lakers reportedly were ‘adamant’ about not trading Ball in recent weeks, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have been seeking a second All-Star player alongside LeBron James.

Although Ball has no restrictions on his rookie contract, his camp reportedly would want him to be traded to a third team that does not have an established point guard instead of the Pelicans. While there may be concerns about Jrue Holiday, he plays a majority of his minutes at shooting guard.

As for the Pelicans, they actually think extremely highly of Ball in a potential Davis trade, according to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:

According to sources, the Pelicans view Ball as a player who would become the starting point guard. They don’t see Jrue Holiday as a point guard because he “doesn’t want to be a point guard,” one source said.

The sources said the Pelicans would play Ball 35 minutes a night and make sure he “would fit” in with New Orleans so he could become a star.

If the Lakers are successful in trading for Davis by the Feb. 7 deadline, it will be interesting to see if Ball’s camp changes their current stance. The reality is the Pelicans would be entering a rebuilding process and have already made Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, and E’Twaun Moore available for draft picks.

Through two injury-plagued seasons with the Lakers, there are debates about Ball’s potential. As an old-school point guard, Ball excels at playmaking and defense but there are concerns about his poor shooting percentages.

Regardless of what happens, the Lakers are in a good position. Along with Davis, Kyrie Irving is genuinely interested’ in playing with James again and Klay Thompson is interested in signing during free agency under certain circumstances.

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