There is a war brewing between Lonzo Ball and the Lakers
With each leak, the foundation of Lonzo Ball and the Lakers’ relationship seems to weaken.
It is no secret that Ball and his ever-volatile father, LaVar, were determined to have him get drafted by the Lakers and build their legacy there. Ball had a respectable rookie season for the Lakers when healthy, but with LeBron James in Los Angeles and in need of another star, Ball’s future there is as precarious as ever.
The Lakers have been in talks with the Spurs for the disgruntled Kawhi Leonard, but the Spurs seem more enamored with Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and future draft picks than they do Ball. Any chance of Ball being included in that trade, however, seemed to end when it was reported last week that the former UCLA star was recovering from a torn meniscus.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers believe that it was Ball’s camp that leaked the news and their response was to sign Rajon Rondo to a one-year deal. Like Ball, Rondo is a ball-dominant point guard who struggles with his shot.
“This is a message to Lonzo Ball … I think there’s a belief around the Lakers that it was within his world that that got leaked out there to keep him from getting traded,” Wojnarowski said. “He doesn’t want to be traded from LA. It wasn’t the Lakers that wanted information out on that knee injury. There were a lot of teams that were checking on possible deals with the Lakers and there were questions about that knee. They want winning, veteran players there. You have LeBron James now, and he’s 33 years old. They want win-now guys. And Rondo is going to challenge Lonzo Ball.”
The Lakers might not be done sending messages. According to SheridanHoops.com, the Lakers decision-makers Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are considering some Plan Bs if they start to believe that they cannot land Leonard in a trade now or in free agency next season. Two of the names mentioned by Sheridan are John Wall and Damian Lillard, who would be clear upgrades over Ball even if he is not included in any deal.
As for the Ball camp, LaVar continues to cling to his notion that the Lakers will one day have all three of his sons on the roster. This comes after his middle son, LiAngelo, could not even land a spot on their G-League team — or to this point, any G-League team.
“LeBron got a four-year deal, right? I hope he gets four [championships] in a row,” LaVar told TMZ on Tuesday. “If not, I guarantee two when all my boys on the Lakers with him. Game over.”
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