As the NBA trade deadline approaches, things are starting to heat up. The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly gotten more serious in their trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans, and any deal for Anthony Davis would surely include Lonzo Ball.
LaVar Ball tells ESPN that if Lonzo Ball is traded, he wants his son to go to Phoenix: “We want to be in LA. But if he’s traded, I don’t want Lonzo in New Orleans. Phoenix is the best fit for him. And I am going to speak it into existence.”— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) February 4, 2019
This coincides with recent reports from The Athletic's Shams Charania, and the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli that Ball would prefer to be sent to a third team if a deal between the Lakers and Pelicans happens. According to Ganguli, Ball would prefer to go to either the Bulls or Knicks. Via the 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.
The Knicks just traded for Dennis Smith Jr. in the Kristaps Porzingis deal, so it's unlikely they'd be interested in Ball, but regardless, this is an interesting demand.
Though Ball was the No. 2 overall pick just two years ago for the Lakers, he hasn't exactly covered himself in glory during his short NBA career. Perhaps it can't hurt, but he doesn't really appear to be in a position to make demands like this. Plus, it's not like the Pelicans have some all-world point guard.
True, they have Jrue Holiday, but he's transitioned into more of a shooting guard role, while the likes of Elfrid Payton, Tim Frazier and Frank Jackson have been playing most of the point guard minutes in New Orleans. None of those three are so good that Ball couldn't compete with them. And if his camp feels they are, that's probably a bigger problem than where he might have to play.
In any case, this just adds more drama to what is going to be the most fascinating NBA storyline over the next few months, or however long it takes until Davis is moved.