3 Most Likely Lonzo Ball Trade Destinations
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball was labeled a bust by many way too early in his career. Now in his fourth NBA season, Ball is enjoying a career year.
His shooting, once seen as a weakness, is slowly becoming a strength, averaging career highs in field goal percentage (42.5%) and three-point field goal percentage (38.5%), which has lead to a career-high 14.2 points per game (PPG). Still only 23 years old and also averaging more than 5.5 assists per game, Ball now seems like he could be an actual franchise point guard if given the opportunity.
The Pelicans elected not to extend Lonzo's rookie contract, so this offseason he will become a restricted free agent. With a handful of point guard-needy teams, Ball is a potential hot commodity on the trade market ahead of Thursday's deadline.
With that in mind, let's take a look at three potential trade destinations for the young point guard.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers, despite being title contenders, are still in search of a true franchise point guard, and Lonzo would most likely welcome a trade back home to his former team's across-the-hall rival. Kawhi Leonard has been most successful with a true facilitator around him (i.e. Tony Parker and Kyle Lowry). Going to the Clippers would give Ball both the chance to start and to compete for a title in his hometown. A deal might be more challenging with the Clippers given their lack of draft picks, but getting Ball in the door before free agency would give LA a chance to keep him in house beyond this year, since they likely wont have the cap space to sign him outright in the offseason.
2. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have gone through a number of point guards the last few years and none seem to be that true franchise guy, at least in a traditional point guard/facilitator sense. Lonzo could be exactly that. A guy who is a threat to score, but also a fantastic distributor that could take some ball-handling duties off the shoulders of Zach LaVine. The Bulls' young forward Lauri Markkanen has been rumored to be on the trade block, so a deal centered around those two might have some legs.
1. New York Knicks
The trend continues here for teams in need of a true point guard. The Knicks late first-round pick Immanuel Quickley has been really impressive this season, and could be that guy, but some also view him as more of a 1-2 combo guard like Lou Williams. Regardless, Lonzo fits with the Knicks for a number of reasons. His age lines up with the timelines of the Knicks' stars like Julius Randle (26 years old), RJ Barrett (20) and Mitchell Robinson (22). Lonzo is a big, long point guard, who excels on the defensive side of the ball, which would fit right in line with head coach Tom Thibodeau's defensive philosophy and the Knicks No. 1 ranked defense. Additionally, Ball could help push the Knicks offense, and create more open-floor opportunities, an area the Knicks struggle in, ranking last in the NBA in possessions per game. Lastly, the Knicks have roughly $15 million is remaining cap space, by far the most in the NBA, which could make them a more attractive trade partner for New Orleans with the ability to take on additional salary.
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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.