The Los Angeles Lakers trade for Lonzo Ball
Anyone that reads my work here on Lake Show Life knows that I am a big Lonzo Ball fan and it is because he is a great basketball player who would actually be a good fit on this team. His three-point shooting has improved immensely as he is now one of the best three-point shooters in the league and more importantly, he does not need the ball to be successful.
That is the big problem with Westbrook and LeBron, which we have not even seen that much with LeBron being hurt. Westbrook needs the basketball in his hands to be effective. Ball doesn’t. He can operate as the team’s facilitator when LeBron is off the court and even be a second playmaker but he does so by keeping the basketball moving and flowing throughout the offense.
Ball agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls and in the trade, the New Orleans Pelicans received essentially nothing. Granted, Lonzo appeared to want to go to the Bulls the entire time but as a restricted free agent, the Pelicans could have matched the contract offer and traded him for a better package, which the Lakers could have sent.
Ball’s cap hit is $18.6 million this season so the Lakers would have to come up with around that number in a trade. That could have easily been done with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marc Gasol and the 22nd pick in the 2021 NBA Draft (that pick’s salary value gets counted).
That might not seem like a great package for New Orleans but it is certainly better than Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoransky and a second-round pick. In this package, they get an asset they can flip in KCP as well as a first-round pick.
The best part about all of this is that Ball and Hield make a combined $41 million, which is $3.2 million less than Westbrook. The team would still be over the luxury tax but they get two for the price of one and for slightly cheaper.