Ball understands this summer presents the chance at a positive step for the opportunity of self-improvement — no matter what happens. “At the end of the day, you can only control the things that you can control,” Ball told The Athletic. “If I get traded, then I get traded. But I’m going to be ready to go. The goal is to be the best player I can for whichever team.”
Duane Rankin: On eve of Thursday's #NBA trade deadline, Josh Jackson and TJ Warren aren't on trading block, and #Suns haven't reached out to #Lakers and #Pelicans about a potential deal related to Lonzo Ball, league sources have told @azcentral
If New Orleans wants more than that, there are also rumblings that the Suns could emerge as a third team for Ball—much to his father’s delight—possibly with T.J. Warren and a young player going to the Pelicans. However, a source with knowledge of the trade discussions said the Ball family’s desires have no bearing on how the Lakers or Pelicans will approach negotiations.
Late Monday night, the Lakers changed their offer at the request of the Pelicans, two people said. The Lakers had agreed to send their entire young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Ivica Zubac to the Pelicans, as well as veteran guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the people said. The Lakers were also winning to also send the Pelicans two first-round draft picks.
In a radio interview with Phoenix station Arizona Sports 98.7, Ball called out Luke Walton and the Lakers both, blaming the franchise and the head coach for holding his son back. The Lakers gave my boy that losing attitude…Luke Walton was the worst coach ever for Lonzo. He’s been losing for three years.
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and Pelicans general manager Dell Demps re-opened their dialogue Monday about working together on an Anthony Davis trade. The Lakers increased their offer to include everything the Pelicans desire: six players, two first-round draft picks and a willingness to take back an undesirable contract. The Lakers’ most recent offer to the Pelicans, according to people with knowledge of the situation, includes Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and two first-round picks in exchange for Davis and Solomon Hill, who is set to make $13 million next season.
Upon learning of that offer, Ball’s camp expressesd concern about the 6-6 point guard winding up in New Orleans if traded. One team with which there was mutual interest was the Phoenix Suns, according to two people unauthorized to speak publicly. Phoenix is a team filled with young players that is desperate for a point guard, but the Suns could only make that work if it were added to the deal as a third team.
Brad Turner: Landed in Indy; update on Lakers-Pelicans talks. Magic Johnson, Dell Demps talked twice today, per source. Lakers willing to give Pelicans cap relief for Anthony Davis by taking Solomon Hill for Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ingram, Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Beasley, 2 1st round picks.
As the Los Angeles Lakers pursue New Orleans Pelicans All-NBA center Anthony Davis ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, the initial offers have been underwhelming, including the Lakers' first offer of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick, league sources told ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: in the Lakers first offer to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis, LA offered Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN.
Shams Charania: Sources: The Lakers have offered the Pelicans two of their talented young players -- among Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, Josh Hart -- with Rondo or Stephenson as core parts of a deal. For Pelicans, these have not been remotely serious offers.
Tania Ganguli: After learning of the Lakers’ offers to the Pelicans, Lonzo Ball’s camp maintains that New Orleans isn’t the desired destination. Phoenix makes the most basketball sense if Ball were to be traded and according to two sources there is mutual interest.
Brad Turner: Sources: Lakers let Demps know one of trade scenarios would include Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, No. 1 pick, per source. Eric Pincus: Trying to parse BT's language - if Lakers have discussed multiple scenarios that include all of the listed players - doesn't mean one specific scenario includes all of the players. Tania Ganguli: actually, no. this is one of the options. all together.
Ramona Shelburne: Regarding the Lakers and Pelicans conversations today, I’m told it’s “common sense to assume no one but LeBron James would be untouchable”
According to sources, the Pelicans view Ball as a player who would become the starting point guard. They don’t see Jrue Holiday as a point guard because he “doesn’t want to be a point guard,” one source said. The sources said the Pelicans would play Ball 35 minutes a night and make sure he “would fit” in with New Orleans so he could become a star.
The New Orleans Pelicans are open to trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers – but it’ll come at a hefty price. According to sources unauthorized to speak publicly on the deal, a Lakers offer for Davis would have to start with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and a first-round pick. Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans last week.
In recent weeks, the Lakers have been adamant internally that they would not trade Ball. It’s unclear if that stance has changed now that Davis could be available. The Lakers’ planned to meet Monday morning to discuss their options. According to sources, Paul has not given the Pelicans a list of preferred destinations, but he will inform interested teams whether or not Davis would sign an extension with them if they were to trade for him.
If the Lakers’ hoped-for deal for Anthony Davis becomes reality, Lonzo Ball is likely, or all but certain, to go to New Orleans. Assuming the Lakers want a third superstar with LeBron James and AD—from a list starting with Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson—they have to slice more than $20 million off next season’s cap, which could go to New Orleans in a trade for Davis. Aside from James’ $37.4 million, two Lakers will make more than $2.1 million: Ball at $8.7 million, and Brandon Ingram at $7.3 million... making the young players likely, or all but certain, to be in any deal for AD.
In the West, the Lakers have to be part of the conversation because of the LeBron James factor, though it's not clear to rival executives whom they're willing to trade in any deal and whom they aren't. "At one point a month ago, they were dangling Lonzo [Ball] a little bit, but now they don't want to trade him," one of the execs said. Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and Moritz Wagner are available, rival executives say, while pretty much everyone else is off the table. To get Beal, it's going to take a lot more than that.
To date, Los Angeles has not offered players such as Ingram, Kuzma, Ball and Hart in trade discussions. They value each of them highly. The Lakers should have enough cap space to keep all four and still sign a top free agent like Kevin Durant (2019-20 player option), Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard (player option) this offseason. Will Ingram still be a part of L.A.'s young core in six months?
The Lakers won’t surrender Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kyzma or Josh Hart to the Phoenix Suns in their pursuit of forward Trevor Ariza, said people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The Lakers have informed teams that have called about trade proposals that they will not give up any of their young core unless it’s for a superstar player, one person said.
The most enticing mega-trade on the board not involving Anthony Davis: Lillard to the Lakers for a package centered around Lonzo Ball. Lillard is a perfect fit next to LeBron, and LeBron respects Lillard's game, per sources familiar with the matter. The Lakers could absorb Lillard into cap space this summer without sending out giant matching salaries -- salaries they don't have on the books.
For young players like Ball that haven’t gone through a summer of trade rumors, it can be discouraging, but Ball was unbothered by all the outside chatter, he said in an episode of “Ball In the Family.” There’s trade rumors every year… Athletes in general, you’re never really 100 percent safe. Wherever you’re at. Anything can happen, especially in the offseason, so all I can do is just make sure I’m ready to play at the best of my abilities.
According to ESPN's Jalen Rose, the timing of Ball's injury report and his social media beef with Kuzma are clear signals that Ball has been working to diminish his trade value. Rose floated the theory Wednesday, and explained that Ball is doing anything he can to ensure he remains a Laker. Jalen Rose: "This is obvious. Think about it - the kid grew up in California. All he ever wanted to do is be a Los Angeles Laker. His father wished it into existence. …. His father said he was going to be the greatest point guard of all time, and guess what Magic Johnson said? 'I want your number hanging in the rafters. He doesn't want to leave there. You think it was an accident when he dropped the diss record on his own teammate during the heightened time of free agency when they're trying to woo LeBron James?"
Mike Greenberg: "What you're saying is that Lonzo Ball has spent the last month or thereabouts purposely diminishing his own trade value?" Jalen Rose: "That's smart. He doesn't want to leave L.A. If you don't want to leave L.A., do all of the things that don't make people think you're an attractive commodity to bring to their team. Do the San Antonio Spurs want Lonzo Ball?
Adrian Wojnarowski: "That [Lonzo Ball] knee injury, I think there was a belief around the Lakers is that it was within his world that that got leaked out there to keep him from getting traded. He doesn’t want to be traded from L.A. It wasn’t the Lakers who wanted information out on that knee injury. There were a lot of teams who were checking on possible deals with the Lakers. They wanted to know. There were a lot of questions about that knee."
The question now is whether the Lakers even have enough to convince the San Antonio Spurs to send Leonard there. With San Antonio believed to be uninterested in Lonzo Ball, the Lakers have three other intriguing young players — Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart — plus their future first-round picks to include in a deal.
"If they wanna trade him, trade him. It'll be the worst move they ever made." LaVar went off at his JBA season opener on Thursday afternoon -- when we asked about the rumblings that Magic Johnson could ship Lonzo to San Antonio to get Kawhi Leonard. "If they wanna trade him, trade him. If they don't wanna trade him, keep him. He's gonna do his thing. I'm not worried about no trades.
Harrison Faigen: This is where aggregation gets out of control and why journalists get sick of it. Everyone is writing up that tweet saying that Lonzo would need to be gone if LeBron James came, but the problem is, Haynes never said that. Here is the transcript of the question and his answer
As the Lakers head into a potentially franchise-changing offseason, their front office is keeping its options fully open. While they like their young core and would prefer to keep those players growing together, they have told teams no player is untouchable in trades, according to multiple sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of trade and free-agent negotiations.
To be clear, the Lakers are not actively shopping any of their players. They are willing to listen to offers and could move one of them — even a member of the talented young cadre of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram or Josh Hart — if an offer blows them away.
On Monday, LaVar, LiAngelo and LaMelo appeared in studio with ESPN LA’s Marcellus Wiley and Travis Rodgers. Late in the interview, the potential of Lonzo getting traded for Leonard and was brought up. LaVar was having none of it. He said: “Stop it. Stop it. I’m gonna tell you why (that won’t happen). You know what Lonzo is to me? Gelo is my pretty boy. This (LaMelo) is my wow boy. But Zo is the people’s choice. They won’t let it happen. You can’t get rid of Zo! He’s the people’s choice. “Everybody on the outside can say what they want, but when you put it down on paper, the Ball boys are good for business.”
Pulling LaVar Ball aside and privately threatening to trade his son if he keeps squawking is unlikely to have much impact when everyone knows the list of teams willing to trade for Lonzo Ball and inherit the circus surrounding him is nonexistent. While Kyle Kuzma has looked like a draft steal to rival Donovan Mitchell, and Brandon Ingram quietly continues to make real strides, it’s hard to notice anything else in Lakerland when the daily Ball soap opera is so suffocating. (To his credit, though, Lonzo Ball has been a steadying force through the latest controversy and a subsequent four-game winning streak.)
June 12, 2021 | 8:31 am EDT Update
Sergio Scariolo is a strong candidate for Virtus Bologna head coaching job, as reported by Il Corriere dello Sport and confirmed to Sportando. Sasha Djordjevic’s departure from Virtus Bologna was almost certain when Serie A playoffs started, also considering the elimination in EuroCup semifinals against Unics Kazan and the missed chance to play in EuroLeague next season.
In the locker room after the Nets’ 86-83 loss, there were lots of “atta boys” and “pick your head ups” and “we’ll live with that shot” from teammates, but Irving had a little piece of extra advice. Be like dad. Dunk it. “Kyrie was like, ‘Hey, you gotta try and dunk it, get a foul or something,’” Brown said. “That’s definitely what I should have done. I had the lane and the angle too, so maybe if I did that I’d have gotten a foul call, gotten to the line. If I had taken my two steps toward the rim, I probably could’ve dunked the ball.”
The available replays call into question this very idea. Lopez is 7-feet tall, and he’d recovered quickly from where he was on the sideline to get in Brown’s way. Brown faded left as he shot the ball, and, “I shot it too hard, I was trying to get it up a little higher, but he was nowhere near the ball, looking at the pictures and the film. “I could’ve just really did a simple layup and made the shot,” he said. “I made it difficult for myself just thinking too much during the shot.”
Harris wasn’t the only one misfiring in the Nets’ 86-83 loss. Add in Landry Shamet (1-for-4) and Mike James (1-for-5), and three Nets who can make a defense pay for double-teaming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were a combined 3-for-20 from the field, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. If those supporting cast numbers are repeated Sunday in Game 4, the series soon could be tied. “If you look at it, only one or two buckets in the last three or four minutes that we needed to fall and they just didn’t,” coach Steve Nash said. “I thought plenty of opportunities. Now, would I want Kevin or Ky shooting every single ball? Of course, but that’s not always the way it works out. We can learn from it.”
Phoenix went on a 14-2 run to build a 20-point lead on the way to a 116-102 win Friday to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in this best-of-7 conference semifinal series. “We have our eyes on the prize,” All-Star guard Devin Booker said.
Durant is 25 of 45 in the 10- to 14-foot range in these playoffs. No other player has made more than 17 playoff jumpers in that zone. Durant is 17 of 32 from the 15- to 19-foot range. No other player has made more than 12 playoff jumpers in that zone. Who is that next player? Devin Booker. He’s not quite Durant, from a potency or accuracy standpoint. But he’s the closest thing the NBA has to Durant right now. Booker is 17 of 33 in that 10- to 14-foot range and 12 of 26 in that 15- to 19-foot range. Combine both zones and Durant has made 42, Booker has made 29 and Kawhi Leonard has made 24 in these playoffs. That’s one, two, three in the rankings. Decent company for Phoenix’s rising three-level scorer.
Paul’s stabilizing presence has been a huge reason why the Suns are a game away from ending Denver’s season. He has scored 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range, with eight assists and no turnovers combined in the three fourth quarters in this series, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. “We just got to make it more difficult on him,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris said. “He’s a Hall of Fame point guard, top five easily, still playing in the NBA. … He’s getting everybody involved. CP is a tough cover for anybody, but we have to just stick to our game plan and try to execute it the best way we can.
The Lakers had the best regular-season defense in the NBA and still gave up 106.8 points per 100 possessions. This is the steroid era of offensive efficiency. Ratings have spiked the past half-decade. But Phoenix is defending at a playoff rate equivalent to the 2014 title Spurs. They have a 101.6 defensive rating during this six-game win streak and 103.9 rating in these playoffs.