The Anthony Davis trade was a massive move that completely changed the course of the Los Angeles Lakers. Though it was justified and did result in the team winning the 2020 NBA Championship, it also cost the team three promising young players in Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball in addition to all of the draft capital the Lakers continue to send to New Orleans.
While Ingram is someone that likely wouldn’t have been able to blossom without the deal and becoming a primary option with the Pelicans, Ball was someone who was a perfect fit next to LeBron James. Though he never became a superstar, Ball would develop into a very good starting point guard who is an excellent defender and passer, and even fixed his shooting form to become a great deep shooter as well.
While it would have been nice for that to have happened with the Lakers for Ball, who grew up a Lakers fan in Chino Hills, he still looks back fondly on his time in L.A., telling Jill Painter Lopez of CBS that just suiting up for his hometown team is something he will always remember:
“Just playing for the home team. Being a Lakers fan growing up, watching all the greats, and then being able to put that jersey on was great.”
Likewise, being able to team with James, a player Ball idolized growing up, is something he will forever cherish:
“He was my favorite player growing up so being able to share the court with him and learn from him was a time in my life I’ll never get back, I’ll never take for granted.”
Overall, Lonzo spent two seasons with the Lakers before being dealt away, but fans still take pride in seeing his growth even if it happened elsewhere. Ball is simply another example of young players needing time to develop and he has done just that.
But Lonzo also continues to give back in Southern California, most recently donating new basketball courts to Verbum Dei High School in Watts using profits from his own NFT to build the courts.
Austin Reaves, Thomas Bryant standing out in Lakers’ offseason workouts
As for current members of the Lakers, a pair of young players have reportedly been standing out in offseason workouts.
Second-year guard Austin Reaves has reportedly bulked up to 209 pounds and has worked diligently on his shooting this offseason as he vies for the starting shooting guard position.
Meanwhile, Thomas Bryant, who was drafted with Ball and was his teammate on the Lakers in 2018, has looked much closer to his former self since tearing his ACL in early 2021 with the Washington Wizards. Bryant was on his way to a career-year before the injury and now will look to regain that form in his return to L.A.
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