New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball has had a rollercoaster journey through his first three seasons in the NBA. After being drafted No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, he spent two seasons fighting battles with injury, inconsistency and off-court drama.
All of it led to Ball firing his first agent, and parting ways with Big Baller Brand, essentially ending a business relationship with his father, LaVar Ball.
Some of that was put behind Ball in the summer of 2019 when he was traded — alongside Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart — to the Pelicans as part of a deal for superstar Anthony Davis to come to L.A.
While fans were saddened to see the majority of the young core go, the three former Lakers, and especially Ball, viewed it as an opportunity to start fresh. Now, heading into the fourth season of his career, the Pelicans point guard will have new representation.
It was announced that Ball would be signing with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, a move he felt was easy to make, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN:
“I wanted to lead my career,” Ball told ESPN. “Picking my own representation — just solely as my decision — was step one in that process. For me, it was an easy call, and it was the right time to make that call.”
Ball’s decision notably comes in the offseason prior to the end of his rookie contract. The fourth season of an NBA player’s career is huge, as the rookie deal expires and the player often enters restricted free agency.
The 2021 offseason will see Ball potentially make the biggest decision of his career thus far, and signing with Klutch Sports shows he means business.
The only drawback will be the inevitable Lakers rumors that come with being a Klutch Sports athlete. Due to LeBron James and Davis’ connection to the agency, and the fact that seven of L.A.’s 15 players are also represented by Paul, Ball will likely spend much of this season hearing rumors about a potential return to the Lakers.
Ball has done a remarkable job since the Big Baller Brand scandals at taking control of his own life and career. And while it’s undoubtedly been good for him off the court, it’s also a factor in his improved play.
In his first season with the Pelicans, Ball averaged a career-high 11.8 points per game, while adding 6.1 rebounds and 7.0 assists on 37.5% from three.
Trae Young signing with Klutch Sports had nothing to do with the Lakers
Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young recently made the same decision as Ball to join Klutch, and was instantly met with rumors or teaming up with James and Davis in L.A. This is in spite of the fact that Young can not even hit unrestricted free agency until 2023 at the absolute earliest.
There’s simply no escaping those rumors as a Klutch client, but Young’s father assured the decision was purely business and had nothing to do with the Lakers.
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