NBA Rumors: Lakers Expected To Search For ‘Potential Pathways’ To Reacquiring Lonzo Ball
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason should be an interesting one for the Los Angeles Lakers as after a disappointing first-round postseason exit, changes to the roster are expected to be made.

Two things that the Lakers will be looking for are shooting and playmaking in order to take some of the load off LeBron James. One player who fits both of those skillsets is someone who Lakers fans are very familiar with: New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball.

Ball is set to hit restricted free agency and despite coming off a career season, most reports have indicated that the Pelicans are not intent on keeping him. In 55 games last season, Ball averaged career-highs in points (14.6), shooting percentage (41.4) and 3-point percentage (37.8) to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

If the Pelicans don’t bring him back, the Lakers are expected to be among the teams with interest in Ball, per Marc Stein of the New York Times:

Expect to eventually hear of them searching for potential pathways, however obstacle-strewn they would be, to reacquiring restricted free agent-to-be Lonzo Ball for that reason.

While Ball coming back to his hometown team that drafted him No. 2 overall in 2017 would be a great story, the pathway to make it happen is very slim.

First off, the Pelicans would have to be willing to sign-and-trade Ball back to the Lakers, which is unlikely in itself given the past relationship between the two teams. The Lakers would then have to pay Ball a hefty salary that could reach $20 million annually as well as send assets back to New Orleans.

Even if that agreement between the two teams and Ball was made though, the Lakers would then be hard-capped for the rest of the season. That means they would likely lose some of their other key free agents like Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker, who Rob Pelinka has made it clear he wants to bring back.

Additionally, Ball is expected to have no shortage of suitors this summer with the Chicago Bulls and L.A. Clippers already known to be among them. So the Lakers would also have to beat offers from other teams in sign-and-trade scenarios.

Pelinka has been known to take big risks since taking over the Lakers’ front office, so even though a reunion with Ball seems to be unlikely, it can’t be completely ruled out given L.A.’s need to add shooting and playmaking.

76ers looking for All-Star in return for Simmons

Another player that could be available for trade this offseason that the Lakers have been linked to is Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.

According to recent reports though, the 76ers are looking for an All-Star caliber player in return, making that another unlikely scenario for the Lakers.

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