The New Orleans Pelicans reportedly “love” the idea of acquiring Lonzo Ball, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers sent Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft and future first-round picks to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis on Saturday.
Ball’s departure from L.A. comes just two years after the storied franchise selected him with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. It also continues the front office’s efforts to reshape the roster following the blockbuster signing of LeBron James last summer.
The 21-year-old California native was selected to the All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 10.2 points, 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals across 52 appearances during his debut season.
He struggled with his shooting efficiency, however, as he connected on just 36 percent of his attempts from the field, including 30.5 percent from three-point range.
“I give myself a B,” Ball told ESPN in May about his rookie season. “I mean, obviously, you want to do the best you can and focus on making the playoffs, but I think this year was more just about learning. It’s my first year in the NBA. I don’t think I did tremendously well, but I don’t think I did bad.”
In addition to his shooting woes, he missed time because of knee and shoulder injuries.
He put up 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game in 47 appearances in 2018-19 before getting shut down in March with an ankle injury.
The other factor that must be considered with Ball is his father, LaVar Ball.
The outspoken patriarch is a constant presence around his son’s team and is never afraid to speak his mind. In January 2018, he told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that then-Lakers head coach Luke Walton didn’t “have control of the team no more.”
Ball does feature high-end upside thanks to his across-the-board production, but he must become a more reliable shooter. The Pelicans will have to decide whether that means he should alter his unique shooting stroke.
Regardless, he should immediately take on a key role alongside expected No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson in New Orleans.