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Report: Lakers to ‘search for potential pathways’ to reacquire Lonzo Ball from Pelicans

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It’s no secret the Los Angeles Lakers need another reliable offensive creator to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Los Angeles’ outdated style of offense came back to bite them against the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs.

The roster construction was specifically tailored to be optimized when James and Davis were both fully healthy, but the 2020-21 season exposed all the flaws in that plan.

As the Lakers look to assemble a sturdier roster for next season with players that aren’t reliant on James and Davis, they could be in the market for a familiar face: Lonzo Ball.

NBA reporter Marc Stein detailed in his latest newsletter why the Lakers would pursue Ball:

“Word is that the Lakers, on top of their well-chronicled need for more shooting, covet one more difference-making playmaker who would allow James and Davis to spend more time at power forward and center.

Expect to eventually hear of them searching for potential pathways, however obstacle-strewn they would be, to reacquiring restricted free agent-to-be Lonzo Ball for that reason.”

The four-year contract Ball signed as a rookie when the Lakers drafted him is coming to a close this season, and the point guard has a pending qualifying offer from the Pelicans that would keep him as a restricted free agent.

However, the Pelicans aren’t making re-signing Ball a priority, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:

“New Orleans is unlikely to match a significant offer sheet on Ball, sources said.”

Ball has always been stout on the defensive end with his frame, and he’s taken massive strides on offense to develop into a more rounded player.

He averaged a career-high 14.6 points this season and made 37.8 percent of his threes on 8.3 attempts.

The Lakers don’t have high-volume 3-point shooters like that, and Ball can thrive as an off-ball shooter or by creating on his own.

However, Los Angeles’ cap situation this summer is tricky, so a sign-and-trade might have to be a plausible route for both teams if a deal is to be made.

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