Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball admitted the trade discussions centered around the Purple and Gold potentially landing New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis led to the team's "downfall" during the 2018-19 campaign.
He revealed as much while appearing on Tuesday's episode of The House of Highlights Show:
Ball isn't the only one to say as much, as Josh Hart told reporters it was "annoying," while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope told reporters it "affected" the team since "everybody was kind of worried about that."
It was just a part of a chaotic season in Los Angeles that included significant time missed to injury from LeBron James, Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram. What's more, Magic Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations, and Luke Walton is no longer the head coach.
Many of the young players, such as Ball, Kuzma and Ingram, were involved in those reported trade discussions, and it is fair to assume it impacted the entire team's play given these comments.
For now, Davis is still on the Pelicans and the Lakers are entering a critical offseason where they still need to hire a head coach and potentially find a secondary star to play alongside James if they are going to compete in the daunting Western Conference.