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.
Ball’s camp has concerns about how crowded the Pelicans’ backcourt is. The problem for Ball is that he’s a key part of what the Pelicans want in a deal for Davis.
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.
The Pelicans also have interest in Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac, and they likely would ask for draft picks too. The Lakers intend to make an offer for Davis soon, and it could involve several of their young players.
NBA fines Anthony Davis $50,000 for agent Rich Paul’s comments about a trade request
The NBA fined Anthony Davis $50,000 on Tuesday, saying his agent’s public comments about the All-Star forward’s desire to be traded violated the collective bargaining agreement.
“The fine is for statements that were made by Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, in an intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans,” the league’s statement read.
Paul told several outlets on Monday, including the Los Angeles Times, that Davis had asked the Pelicans for a trade and informed the team that he would not agree to a “supermax” contract extension that could have paid him $240 million over five years.
Only the Pelicans are eligible to pay Davis that much money and by being traded he will leave significant money on the table. Davis signed a five-year deal worth $127 million in the 2016-17 season.
The Lakers intend to make an offer for Davis soon and it could involve several of their young players. The Pelicans have interest in Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac, but would likely ask for draft picks from the Lakers in addition to that.
New Orleans is in no rush to make a deal and was rankled by Davis’ request. In a statement released on Monday, the Pelicans said they had asked the league to strictly enforce its tampering policy.
While $50,000 might not constitute much of Davis’s salary, it is the maximum the NBA is allowed to fine a player for public comments asking for a trade, according to the league’s bylaws.
Ball, Kuzma selected to Rising Stars game
Second-year Lakers Ball and Kuzma were chosen to play for the U.S. Team against the World Team in the Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend in Charlotte.
Ball won’t play because he’s still recovering from a sprained left ankle. Kuzma, who missed his second straight game Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers with a strained left hip, will participate for the second straight year.
Staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli