With the Anthony Davis trade now a little over a week old — even if it isn’t officially completed yet — we have finally gotten the reactions of all the former Los Angeles Lakers being sent out in the deal. Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram spoke quickly, with Hart coming back later with a heartfelt goodbye, and now Lonzo Ball has finally broken his silence on the deal as well.
And despite some expecting Ball to be upset by the news after everything he and his camp did to try and keep him in a Lakers uniform over the last year, he seems to be taking news of the deal relatively well, going on Instagram and calling it “good” (emphasis mine):
“You probably heard the news. It’s good news, in my opinion. Melo had a game today, he did good. Went to (unintelligible)’s house, that was good. I got traded, that was good. And yeah, now we’re gonna be taking the show to New Orleans, and turning up out there, so until next time, ciao.”
This isn’t exactly unexpected, as no matter your opinion of Ball, I don’t think anyone expected him to have to be literally dragged kicking and screaming from Los Angeles. Plus, something that has gone under-analyzed in this trade is that it could be a win for all sides involved.
For the Lakers (and LeBron James), they get a second superstar to immediately vault the team into being a ready-made contender. For the Pelicans, they get a bunch of prospects on cost-controlled deals to rebuild around Zion Williamson. And for Ball, Ingram, Hart and the Lakers’ future picks being sent to New Orleans, they get the opportunity to grow more naturally in less of a pressure-cooker environment, having all of the skills they do have praised, while not having the ones they don’t have scrutinized as heavily.
Ball could ultimately end up being as good of a player as the Lakers hoped he would be when they drafted him. But he’s not that right now, and may never be as good as Anthony Davis already is. The Pelicans will reap the benefits of whatever he turns into, and it sounds like he’s ready to move on to that chapter. Once the deal is completed at some point in the next few weeks, all of us can too.
Best of luck to him and the rest of the young guys in New Orleans.