Rumor has it that the Raptors have their eye on Lamelo Ball’s talents and may trade up to grab the youngest Ball brother.
Lamelo Ball is one of the most unique prospects the NBA has ever seen. He doesn’t have an accurate comparison due to his height for the point guard position (6’8″), passing vision, and flair. Rashad Phillips, a co-host on the ‘No Agendas’ podcast with Kendrick Perkins, tweeted:
The Lamelo Ball effect: Toronto will try to trade Kyle Lowry and company to Philly, Ben Simmons to GSW, Raptors will try and move up the board and draft Lamelo Ball. Melo is ranked my top ranked prospect on my board. Visit https://t.co/Gv2F7KXe7j #TalkSoon pic.twitter.com/tFhhWMO1cj
— Rashad Phillips (@RP3natural) May 3, 2020
Ripples on the Eastern Conference
If this trade happens, it would thoroughly shake up the Eastern Conference. For the 76ers, they move on from the Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid tandem that hasn’t seen the success expected of them. They receive a tough point guard who can hit threes and play hard defense in Kyle Lowry. Lowry also provides invaluable leadership; he has been a part of the Raptors since the beginning stages and was huge in their championship run.
For the Raptors, they have multiple expiring deals for their veteran players. Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Fred Van Fleet are all expiring this offseason. If they make this trade, they most likely are looking to build around their core of Siakum, Anunoby, and possibly Ball.
Ball fills in the point guard role and adds to the Raptor’s insane length. Nick Nurse is an innovative coach and should allow Ball creative freedom in the offense. He is at his best when the team plays with pace and natural movement. Raptors don’t have many set plays and look to create early action in the secondary break. This speed should allow Ball to thrive.
Involvement of the Golden State Warriors
The Warriors’ season has been a 180 turn around from their streak of championship appearances due to injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and the departure of Kevin Durant. However, their down season gives them an excellent chance to select one of the consensus top prospects in this year’s draft: Anthony Edwards, Lamelo Ball, and James Wisemen.
At the deadline, the Warriors received Andrew Wiggins from the Timberwolves, which means both guard spots and wing spots are already filled. The Warriors are in a unique situation since they plan on winning next year while other teams in the lottery don’t. These top rookies are talented, but the Warriors may not be willing to take on a long term project.
On the other hand, if the Warriors receive Simmons, they become extremely dangerous. He is perfect for their spaced-out offense with plenty of ball movement and cutting due to his quickness, size, and vision. His versatility on defense will be a huge plus since they already have Draymond Green, who can guard every position on the floor. Having two players of this caliber along with two long wings in Thompson and Wiggins could make the Warriors a contender in the west.
Take the rumor with a grain of salt, since salaries will have to be matched and the 76ers may want more value for Simmons. Aside from that, the scenario does seem to satisfy the needs of each team involved. If this trade goes through, it would significantly alter the landscape of the league.