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Report: Lakers believe Lonzo Ball’s camp leaked knee injury to deter trade

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 09: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers calls a play during the second half of a game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on January 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Lonzo Ball wants to play for the Lakers.

He was born and raised in the area. Los Angeles is the ideal platform for LaVar Ball’s branding. With LeBron James – Lonzo’s favorite player growing up – the Lakers now have a championship ceiling.

But because they have LeBron, the Lakers might not have the patience for a young Lonzo to develop. They already signed Rajon Rondo. And LeBron has a contentious history with LaVar.

With Ball trade rumors swirling – in a Kawhi Leonard deal or otherwise – word leaked Ball suffered a torn meniscus.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

That knee injury, I think there was a belief around the Lakers is that it was within his world that that got leaked out there to keep him from getting traded. He doesn’t want to be traded from L.A. It wasn’t the Lakers who wanted information out on that knee injury. There were a lot of teams who were checking on possible deals with the Lakers. They wanted to know. There were a lot of questions about that knee.

Lonzo doesn’t owe it to the Lakers to conceal an injury just so they can trade him against his desires. This is painfully obvious to anyone not blinded by the team-centric worldview perpetuated in professional sports

Besides, a post-trade physical would be conducted, anyway. Maybe the Lakers would have had a better chance of getting a team to the point of no return on a Lonzo trade, but this leak affected only so much.

Lonzo’s future with the Lakers remains unclear. They might resent this leak and try harder to trade him. But maybe he succeeded in forcing their hand to keep him.