The Los Angeles Lakers officially abandoned their rebuilding process when they traded away Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first round picks for Anthony Davis.
Pairing Davis with LeBron James instantly meant the Lakers would be in championship contention while the Pelicans got to hit the quick reset button.
Now, the Pelicans are home to Ball, Ingram, and Hart as well as Zion Williamson, Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick, and a ton of other quality players. They may even be able to contend for a playoff spot during the 2019-20 NBA season. All three former Lakers who were a part of this deal had positive things to say about them on the way out.
When Ball was asked to reflect on the trade, he said that he saw it coming the whole time and was excited for a fresh start where he could be away from home for the first time in his life, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
“It was only a matter of time before a trade happened,” he said. “I pretty much knew a trade would happen. Any time you have a player like Anthony Davis available, I knew it was going to be my time. I was looking forward to it and I was excited for a new start. Getting out of L.A. for the first time in my life. I’m happy about it.”
Ball also reflected on his time with the Lakers, saying that injuries held him back from being the player he wanted to be, wishing he could’ve done more for the purple and gold:
“It was just time for a change. I got hurt both years and didn’t do what I wanted to do. I was blessed to stay home and play in front of everybody, but it wasn’t working over there.”
Sadly, Lakers fans will never get to see what could’ve been had Ball stayed and played alongside Davis and James, as he was likely one of the required parts of the deal.
Ball still has the potential to be one of the top point guards in this league with elite court vision, defense, and playmaking. If Ball can improve his jumper to the mid-40’s and get his three-pointer to the mid-30’s, there’s absolutely nothing stopping him from doing that.
It will just have to be with the Pelicans, something that it seems he’s very at peace with. And luckily, Ball and Williamson are an absolutely perfect basketball fit.