The Los Angeles Lakers could be looking at bringing back Lonzo Ball.
Marc Stein reports this week that the Lakers covet one more difference-making playmaker and they believe Ball could be it. The reason is so that LeBron James and Anthony Davis can spend more time at the power forward and center positions, respectively. Stein adds to expect the Lakers to search for pathways to re-acquire Ball for that very reason.
Ball, 23, will be a restricted free agent this offseason. He was drafted by the Lakers No. 2 overall in 2017 and spent the first two seasons of his career with them before being sent to New Orleans in the Davis trade.
The Pelicans can make whatever offer any team throws at Ball. The Lakers could look to do a sign and trade with the Pelicans for Ball, but that could be problematic as their salary cap situation is tight.
If the Lakers view Ball as a third star, they might be willing to sacrifice the depth it would take to fit him into their salary structure and play next season under a hard cap.
If the Lakers can’t land Ball, the team has identified the point position as the area that needs the most improvement.