Has Lonzo Ball seen his last days as a Laker? Despite his absence having a profound impact on the team’s performance this season, that has become a real question as Jeanie Buss and the rest of the front-office prepare for change.
One likely destination if L.A. does decide to make a move with Lonzo is Chicago, a place in which he publicly expressed his desire to play. The proposed deal would send Kris Dunn and a 2019 first-round pick to the Lakers.
“This deal is essentially a clean swap between point guards and first round picks. The Lakers are currently slotted at 10th best odds for the first overall pick, while Chicago is at fourth best odds. In this deal, Los Angeles can move up six spots (if the lottery odds stay the same) and shed around $3 million in salary by replacing Ball with Dunn. At this spot, the team can look to take a starting shooting guard, such as Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, or even move the pick for another star player to put next to LeBron James.”
Lonzo proved himself to be an important, game-changing player this past season. Besides struggling with a broken shot, the 21-year-old is a pest on defense and excels at setting his teammates up on the offensive end.
He has a lot of growing to do, but would do well in a place like Chicago — with plenty of room to grow, plenty of eyes on him, and away from the side-show that has become of the Lakers locker room.
For the Lakers, the swap would most likely be used as a trade chip than anything else. With LeBron in town, they have no use for Dunn and the lottery pick that would come in the deal. At the very least, it would help them in their search to pair another superstar alongside the aging LeBron James.