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If LeBron James is able to convince the Cleveland Cavaliers to do a sign-and-trade deal to have him head to the Los Angeles Lakers, the No. 2 overall selection in the draft would be part of the trade, according to a report.
“The one constant that I’ve heard is Lonzo Ball,” Chris Haynes of ESPN reported.
“The one constant that I’ve heard is Lonzo Ball.”
– @ChrisBHaynes on a potential piece to be moved for LeBron James
— ESPNLosAngeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) June 15, 2018
A sign-and-trade would necessitate James opting in on his $35.6 player option for next season, which would provide an avenue for the Cavaliers to trade James and receive something back in return.
Word of a potential superteam in Los Angeles spread like wildfire Friday when news broke that Kawhi Leonard wanted out of San Antonio, preferring a trade to the Lakers.
James, Leonard and free-agent-to-be Paul George all headed to the Lakers would create yet another Western Conference superpower, joining two-time defending NBA champion Golden State and Houston, which held a 3-2 lead on the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals only to have star guard Chris Paul go down with a hamstring injury.
If James were to become a Laker, it would make sense for Ball to depart. Though he had a solid rookie season in averaging 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game, he needs the basketball in his hands to be a contributor.
With James doing much of his work on the basketball, Ball would not thrive in that type of environment, as his shooting percentages from his rookie season attest.
Ball shot just 36.0 percent from the field, 30.5 percent from the 3-point arc and an abysmal 45.1 percent from the free-throw line.
The UCLA product missed 30 games because of injury.