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Lonzo Ball prefers landing with Knicks, Bulls in Anthony Davis trade scenario

Lonzo Ball, Lakers, Anthony Davis, Knicks

Lonzo Ball has made it clear through his camp that he would prefer to land in a city that has a direct line for the starting point guard job, as a potential swap with the New Orleans Pelicans for prized big man Anthony Davis would send him into a potential competition with Elfrid Payton for the keys to the offense. According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Ball would prefer to go to the New York Knicks or the Chicago Bulls, with either of the two teams participating as a third team to take him in a deal.

If true, it’s likely Ball’s reasons for wanting out of New Orleans is more so because it is a small NBA market than any other reason. Chicago and New York are basketball cities with plenty of limelight and potential exposure for his shoe brand and apparel company, while the former offers little possibility for growth there.

Ball got his first taste of competing for a starter spot in the league when veteran Rajon Rondo came into the picture, forced to come off the bench after battling an offseason injury and then splitting minutes with Rondo in a very unclear hierarchy line.

Thinking he’s unable to beat out Elfrid Payton — who is on a one-year deal — but would beat out a young Kris Dunn in Chicago or Emmanuel Mudiay in New York makes little sense, as neither of the three are cemented into that starting spot or are considered the point guard of the future in their respective teams.

For what is worth, the Pelicans envision Ball as their starter and would be willing to put the tools around him to make him flourish. But that all depends whether he’s willing to keep resisting that from happening.

Ball, a second-year player in this league, cannot make any trade demands and is in full control of the Lakers, who are likely to dispose of him as needed in efforts to land Davis.