Last week’s NBA trade-deadline day was not easy for Lonzo Ball.
The Pelicans guard was a constant source of trade rumors, with the Knicks and Bulls among the most interested suitors.
“I’m happy to be here,” Ball told reporters on Wednesday in his first comments since the March 25 trade deadline. “It was a long day. But overall, I ended up not getting moved and staying here, where I wanted to be. So it all worked out how it was supposed to.”
The Post’s Marc Berman has reported that Ball, a restricted free agent after the season, has the Knicks high on his wish list this offseason. And the commitment that each side has toward each other has been widely speculated on with the Pelicans opting not to give Ball a rookie extension last offseason.
Both player and team have done their best to dispel those reports, even as Lonzo’s father, Lavar, has called for a change of scenery.
“He’s made it very clear personally, one to one, that he wants to be here,” Pelicans lead exec David Griffin said after the trade deadline.
“Yet what you will read is, ‘This is a player who doesn’t want to be here. He’s not in our plans. So you should trade him for a ham sandwich.’ That doesn’t make any sense when we know the actual, real story behind Lonzo Ball.”
The 23-year-old Ball, who has missed six straight games with a hip injury, has averaged 14 points, four rebounds and six assists per game in his most consistent season thus far.
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