All signs currently point to Lonzo Ball suiting up for a new team come next season.
The writing for a break-up between Ball and the New Orleans Pelicans has been the wall for some time now. The front office made it no secret that they had attempted to trade him prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, and Ball himself addressed his perilous status with the organization in fairly blunt terms.
Ball is set to become a restricted free agent, and by all accounts he is looking for something in the $20 million per year range. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, New Orleans “is unlikely to match a significant offer sheet on Ball.”
If Ball and the Pelicans do go their separate ways, three teams appear to be frontrunners for his services.
Those teams: the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.
“The Bulls and Clippers are expected to be among the teams interested in him,” Charania noted. In a separate update, NBA insider Marc Stein reported that the Lakers were also very much in the hunt for Ball’s services.
“Word is that the Lakers, on top of their well-chronicled need for more shooting, covet one more difference-making playmaker who would allow James and Davis to spend more time at power forward and center,” he wrote.
“Expect to eventually hear of them searching for potential pathways, however obstacle-strewn they would be, to reacquiring restricted free agent-to-be Lonzo Ball for that reason.”
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Ball has made it no secret where he actually wants to go play next, but it remains to be seen if his wish comes to fruition.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, have some important decisions to make. A massive blockbuster trade with the Miami Heat seems feasible, as does a potentially franchise-changing deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. Given the magnitude of those two prospective moves, it’s understandable why the front office feels like it has bigger fish to fry than Ball’s status.
Where will Ball ultimately end up come the 2021-22 season? Time will tell.