Lonzo Ball is in a far too familiar spot as his second NBA season comes to a close. Ball will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign after suffering a Grade 3 ankle sprain with a bone bruise against the Houston Rockets in late January. During his rookie season, the Los Angeles Lakers sat Lonzo for the final eight games with a knee contusion, capping off an injury-laden year where he tried to avoid going under the knife to address a torn meniscus in his left knee before undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
There is, however, one big difference between last offseason, and this upcoming one. "I'm very, very motivated," Ball told The Athletic. "I want to be the best I can be. I'm looking forward to this summer. I don't look at it as added pressure, because I haven't had a full summer yet to dedicate to myself. I have to keep working on my craft. I'm just happy that I'm going to be healthy."
"It’s been frustrating," Ball admitted. "This is the second year that this has happened. But I have to stay positive, stay motivated." Lonzo's remarks come after the Lakers star point guard has been noticeably silent with the media, even as rumors rampantly spread about him getting included in numerous trade packages that would've potentially landed New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
Aside from a subliminal message posted on his Instagram Story after the deadline passed, Ball has let others within his inner circle speak out about the trade rumors and its repercussions on his career.
In his interview with The Athletic, Lonzo opened up about his thoughts towards getting brought up in trade rumors. "At the end of the day, you can only control the things that you can control," he said. "If I get traded, then I get traded. But I'm going to be ready to go. The goal is to be the best player I can for whichever team." Despite showing some solid chemistry with LeBron James in their limited time together, Ball could still get dealt to the Pelicans this summer when the Lakers revisit trade talks for Davis.