Could the Los Angeles Lakers reunite with Lonzo Ball?

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
3 of 6
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

Trade Scenario

The New Orleans Pelicans receive: C JaVale McGee, PG/SG Alex Caruso, and the 28th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers receive: PG Lonzo Ball

Lonzo comes back home but the Los Angeles Lakers lose two fan favorites in the process. A catch-22.

This trade is built on an understanding that JaVale McGee accepts his player option the day after the draft and the Los Angeles Lakers are drafting for the Pelicans on 28th overall.

You may think that other teams need point guards who can offer a better package than this.

To a certain extent, you are correct, but if you think about it, there aren’t that many teams that need a starting point guard. Some potential Lonzo trade partners:

  • Phoenix Suns (Have Ricky Rubio under contract for 2 more years)
  • San Antonio Spurs (Have  DeJounte Murray)
  • Dallas Mavericks (A real threat to land Lonzo but Doncic is their primary ball-handler)
  • Detroit Pistons (Have Rose, Can pick up his replacement in the lottery)

Most teams realize the need for a starting-caliber point guard and have addressed the need.

The Los Angeles Lakers have a primary ball-handler and de-facto point guard in LeBron James who leads the league in assists but having a player who actually will start at the point guard spot and guard point guards would be a great get for the Lakers.

They do have that in Avery Bradley and Alex Caruso but the one area in which both of these players lack is in playmaking.

Something Lonzo, for all his flaws, does excel at.

You may ask if LeBron is leading the league in assists, why do the purple and gold require an additional playmaker?

Well, plain and simple, when LeBron James is on the floor, the Los Angeles Lakers are box office, the ball moves freely and their offense is flowing like a well-oiled machine ranking 3rd in the league in the offensive ranking.

However, once LeBron sits, the Lakers offense plummets to the bottom of the league in the offensive ranking. The ball sticks, they play a lot of iso-ball, and to put it simply, the Lakers are not a very good team when LeBron is off the floor.

One of the main reasons for this is the Lakers lack of secondary playmaking.

While Avery Bradley and Alex Caruso provided valuable minutes this season, these minutes came mainly on the defensive end. They were below average playmakers and if the Lakers want to keep this potential championship train running, they need to address the secondary playmaker need and they need to do it this off-season.

If they can pick up someone like Goran Dragic, Jeff Teague, or Darren Collison in free agency, that would be good and that could address the need without needing to hand over assets, but if they want to bring in a player who, while on the Lakers had the offense running at a top 5 pace in the league and who has pre-existing relationships with players on the roster then the Lakers should look to Lonzo as there problem solver next season.