The biggest move made in the 2019 NBA offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers — and maybe the entire league — was the Anthony Davis trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.
While much of the attention has been on Davis and for good reason, the other side of that is most of the team’s young core was moved except for Kyle Kuzma.
None of those players was under the amount of pressure that Lonzo Ball faced and that will not change moving forward. The No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ball was viewed as the new face as the Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell to make room for him and the constant comments from LaVar Ball only further served to ratchet up the pressure on him.
Ball will have the chance for a fresh start now in New Orleans, but apparently he wasn’t even informed about the trade by the Lakers. In an interview with Big Boy’s Neighborhood on Real 92.3, Ball revealed he found out about the trade on Twitter, but he knew he was likely to be traded eventually:
“I found out on Twitter. We was in the car, we had just left my grandfather’s house on the way to LaMelo’s Drew League game. And D-Mo told me, ‘Have you seen Twitter?’ I’m like, ‘Nah’ and he said, ‘You just got traded.’ That’s how we found out […] I kinda knew I was gonna get traded though. I’ve just been in the trade talks for so long and it’s Anthony Davis. You know L.A. gonna do what they gotta do to get superstars. So I kinda had a feeling”
In today’s age of social media with every rumor making the news, it’s hard for a player to avoid all of the rumblings going on. For Ball, these rumors had been going on since the middle of the 2018-19 NBA season, so it makes sense that he was expecting it as a Davis trade to the Lakers seemed inevitable.
Ball doesn’t seem to harbor any hard feelings towards the Lakers, but did admit that he had to take the deal a little personal:
“I think you should because I mean they got rid of you, they didn’t want you no more. So yeah, you gotta take it personal.”
The main culprit for Ball’s disappointing start to his career was injuries. He has played in just 99 of a possible 164 games in his career but was showing serious signs of turning the corner before his most recent setback sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Ball has a young, promising team in New Orleans with the pieces around him that play well into his playmaking abilities. With that roster, some extra motivation, and better injury luck, Ball could very well take that leap many Lakers fans were waiting to see.