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.