As Lonzo Ball completed an up-and-down rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers , he was not concerned about how potential free agents viewed him.
Lonzo Ball says he did not feel pressure to show free agents like Paul George and LeBron James what he can do. ‘Whether it be LeBron, Paul George, or whoever, if they liked it, they liked it. If they didn’t, they didn’t. I can’t do anything about it now.’ pic.twitter.com/vEhHY7ambV
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) April 12, 2018
The guard was asked about possibly impressing LeBron James or Paul George but noted he wasn’t worried about that, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“The way I play is just to help my team win,” he explained.
Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, was expected to be a major piece of the young core that would lure top free agents to Los Angeles this summer along with Brandon Ingram.
With James and George both potentially available following the season, there has been plenty of speculation throughout the year about each of them joining the Lakers. Of course, they have both avoided revealing their plans.
“I don’t talk about it too much,” James said in March regarding his upcoming free agency, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland .com. “Like I said, I’ll handle that whenever it comes, but…I understand that the conversation happens here because first of all they have cap space.”
Per Spotrac, the Lakers could have more than $60 million in cap space heading into next season.
Meanwhile, George recently said he “can see myself being here,” in terms of staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder , per Royce Young of ESPN.com.
The question is whether they could be enticed by the prospect of playing alongside Ball.
While he did fill up the box score with 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game, he also struggled with his shot while making just 36.0 percent of his attempts from the field and a subpar 45.1 percent of his free throws. He also missed 30 games because of various injuries.
The 20-year-old still has plenty of room to grow, but his play in 2017-18 will likely factor into these free agents’ decisions this offseason.