NBA

Lonzo Ball Is About To Have an Intriguing New Home in the Eastern Conference

The New Orleans Pelicans have spent the last few months watching Lonzo Ball turn in the best season of his career. 

Neither side may be together much longer, however. Ball, the former second overall pick who joined the Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade two years ago, is the subject of trade rumors and could be shipped off in the coming days. 

The latest reports indicate that Ball, who has played all of his career in the Western Conference, could soon be moving east.

The New Orleans Pelicans could trade Lonzo Ball soon

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Once again, a Stan Van Gundy-led team with a young and talented core is expected to miss the postseason.

Few if any considered the New Orleans Pelicans as legitimate title contenders entering the 2020-21 campaign, but the team has significantly underwhelmed with an 18-24 record at publication. The Pelicans are 4.5 games behind Luka Dončić and the Mavericks, who hold the No. 8 seed in the West.

New Orleans is struggling despite an impressive trio of guard Lonzo Ball and forwards Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Ball is amid a career-year, averaging 14.2 points on 42.5% shooting from the field and 38.5% from 3-point range.

The fourth-year point guard is also averaging 4.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per night.

Ball is making shooting strides months before he can test the open market as a restricted free agent. His contract situation, coupled with the Pelicans’ struggles, could create a situation where the team trades Ball.

Ball has been linked to the Hawks and Bulls

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If the New Orleans Pelicans trade Lonzo Ball, he doesn’t sound long for the Western Conference.

The Ringer reported that the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls are both interested in acquiring Ball via trade. League sources told The Ringer that the Bulls offered backup guard Tomáš Satoranský and two second-round picks.

The Pelicans reportedly want “at least one good first-round pick or a young player.” 

In their discussions with the Hawks, the Pelicans have reportedly asked about second-year forward Cam Reddish. The 10th overall pick in 2019, Reddish is averaging 11.2 points and four rebounds this year. 

LaVar Ball and Lonzo disagree on his future with the Pelicans

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Lonzo Ball has publicly said all of the right things about wanting to stay with the Pelicans and build something in New Orleans.

LaVar Ball feels quite differently than his son, however. USA Today transcribed comments that the elder Ball made with Mason & Ireland on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles. 

The hosts asked LaVar if he believed his son should stay in New Orleans, and LaVar responded negatively.

“Lonzo’s always been a playmaker. Why are you trying to change him into a defensive specialist that stays in the corner and shoots 3s? And you’re trying to change Zion and Brandon Ingram who, all through their careers, have never been playmakers. Scorers! Now you want to put the ball in their hands and be playmakers?! … Go score the ball and do what you do and guess what? They’re gonna have a hard time trying to win every game if the playmaker ain’t making the right plays.”

Lonzo Ball’s 5.6 assists are down from the seven he averaged in 63 games and 54 starts last year. However, Lonzo’s 38.5% 3-point percentage is on pace to be the best of his career.

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