On Tuesday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly listening to offers on guard Lonzo Ball. Set for restricted free agency this off-season after not agreeing to an extension before this season, Ball has struggled early on in the year.
Ball played through a knee injury early in the year that eventually sidelined him for three games. Still, he’s averaging just 12.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game in 31.8 minutes. After having a career year as a 3-point shooter last year, his shot has abandoned him to start this year as he’s connecting on just 29.1% of attempts in his 12 games.
He makes for an interesting trade target as he has value in the right system but is a streaky shooter that has been up-and-down in his career. Here’s a look at five trades the Pelicans could make with Ball before the trade deadline.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks were reportedly high on LaMelo Ball during the predraft process and could view his brother in a similar light. Nailing down what is considered fair value for Ball is going to be difficult because it depends on how both the Pelicans and the other team in the trade value Ball. One of the areas of need for New Orleans is wing depth. Kevin Knox is in a similar vein as Ball, having once been a lottery pick that has floundered in his current situation. Sending him to the Pelicans with a pick could give both fresh starts. This season, Knox has seen a bit of a revival, at least as a shooter. Knox is shooting 39.1% from range in 19.3 minutes per game. If the Pelicans believe that is real, he could provide actual value to a Pelicans team lacking consistent outside shooting.
Golden State Warriors
In the initial report about Ball and JJ Redick being shopped, Charania also included a tid bit at the bottom that the Pelicans and Warriors had discussed a potential trade for Kelly Oubre Jr. It might make more sense for both parties for an Oubre trade to be centered around Redick but each party could be interested in a Ball-for-Oubre swap. For New Orleans, it’d provide them more wing depth. For Golden State, it’d provide the team with a strong defensive guard to pair with Steph Curry this season and a potential restricted free agency trade chip next off-season or a piece of the future.
As much of a cliche as it is, Heat Culture is a very real thing that has turned around multiple careers. There may not be a better buy-low candidate for them than Ball. He would come at a cheap price and the Heat have a number of young players they could entice Miami with. Kelly Olynyk would largely operate as salary ballast but would also provide much-needed spacing in the Pelicans lineup.
Chicago was reportedly searching for a lead guard during the draft to pair in the backcourt with Zach LaVine. At the time, it was reason to believe they could potentially move up for LaMelo. Now, it could be reason to believe they’d trade for Lonzo. The Pelicans may have interest in Wendell Carter Jr., who was once seen as a potential 3&D center. After struggling in the NBA, he could be due for a change of scenery, but New Orleans’ already-crowded front court may not be that place. Instead, Cristiano Felicio would simply operate as salary ballast with the future first round pick being the real prize.
While the Mavericks may be interested in Ball as a great complementary piece next to Luka Doncic, it’s hard to piece together a package. The team doesn’t have many first round draft picks nor do they have many notable young pieces. In that sense, the two teams could go about the trade differently. Josh Richardson would fill a need in New Orleans while Ball could step into the starting lineup alongside Doncic and be one of the best passing duos in the league.
Published: 2021-01-27 07:07:36
Tags: #trades #Orleans #Pelicans #Lonzo #Ball