At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, Lonzo Ball’s name was heavily involved in a potential Anthony Davis trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans.
While Ball ultimately wants to remain with the Lakers, there were multiple reports about him wanting to be traded to a third team instead of the Pelicans at the time.
One potential trade destination for Ball was the Chicago Bulls, who were looking to upgrade the point guard position with Kris Dunn starting more than half of their games.
While it was unclear who was involved, the Bulls and Lakers reportedly had initial discussions back in February, according to Joe Cowley of Chicago Sun Times:
According to one NBA executive, the Bulls and Lakers had initial conversations about point guard Lonzo Ball shortly after Ball’s camp made it public that Chicago would be one of his desired destinations if the Lakers were to move him.
And three months later, Ball reportedly still ‘intrigues’ the Bulls heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, according to KC Johnson of Chicago Tribune:
Ball intrigues the Bulls as a pass-first, defensive-minded point guard with positional size who can best maximize the talents of Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr.
At the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, the Lakers moved up seven spots for the No. 4 pick while the Bulls moved down three spots for the No. 7 pick. With the Bulls viewing Ball as a pass-first point guard who can maximize their young core, it appears any new discussions would likely center around their No. 7 pick.
Leading up to June 20, there is no denying Ball’s potential as a playmaker and defender. However, the 21-year-old suffered his second consecutive season-ending injury in as many years and has only appeared in 99 out of a possible 164 games.
As Ball finally has his first healthy offseason to truly improve his all-around game, the hope is he can shed his ‘injury-prone’ label. Along with taking control of his career off the court, there are high expectations for him either in Los Angeles or elsewhere for the 2019-20 NBA season.
However, it appears the Lakers are fully invested in Ball’s development. During the team’s coaching search, the one constant was former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. As Kidd is expected to join head coach Frank Vogel’s coaching staff as an assistant coach, one major factor was hoping he would be able to help Ball.
Set up by Tyson Chandler during the 2018-19 season, Kidd reportedly had a phone conversation with Ball.