NBA trade rumors: Lakers, Bulls had 'initial conversations' about Lonzo Ball before deadline

The Lakers seem to have considered dealing Lonzo Ball to the Bulls.

Los Angeles and the Bulls had ‘initial conversations’ about the 21-year-old guard before the trade deadline, according to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, which cites an unnamed league executive.

Los Angeles was reportedly discussing acquiring star Anthony Davis after he asked the Pelicans to move him in late January. Ball was also reportedly included in the Lakers offers to New Orleans.

Ball, however, reportedly did not want to be sent to the Pelicans and instead was hoping to be traded to the Bulls or Knicks while he was also linked with the Suns. But, no deal was ultimately reached, and Ball remained with the Lakers.

Los Angeles guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said the rumors had an impact on the team.

“At the trade deadline, everybody kind of lost themselves,” Caldwell-Pope said last week, via ESPN. “That’s all they were worried about. … And I feel like after that, everybody kind of relaxed, calmed down and just started playing basketball and not worrying about the outside talk.”

Ball, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft, was limited to just 47 games in 2018-19 as he sprained his ankle in late January and never returned to the court. He finished the season averaging 9.9 points and 5.4 assists.

“Obviously it’s been a long process,” Ball said recently about the injury. “It’s finally starting to show some great progress, coming along. Hopefully just a few more weeks and then I can go out there.”

Lakers president Magic Johnson stunningly announced he was resigning from his position last week before the team’s final game of the season. Ball said he supported Johnson’s decision.

“It shocked me, like it did the rest of the world,” Ball said. “It’s what’s best for him. I wish him the best. He drafted me, and this is better for his life. This is what he wants to do, and I’m behind him 100 percent.”

The Bulls will be looking for a point guard again this offseason, according to the Sun-Times’ report.