Lonzo Ball could be on the move for the second time in his career. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls are “pursuing” Ball. He also adds that the talks with Atlanta have “revolved around Cameron Reddish.”
Ball’s play has improved over the year. Shot inconsistency plagued him earlier this year, but he’s started to shoot with no hesitation. Even if the percentages aren’t always there, his willingness to take those shots forces defenses to respect him to some extent. He can help space the floor and also attack closeouts.
The Pelicans and Ball disagreed on an extension earlier this year. That could come to hurt the Pelicans if they want to keep him. The 2021 free-agent class is pretty weak, and teams might overpay Ball, making it harder for the Pels to retain him.
If that’s what the Pelicans are afraid of, they could listen to offers for Ball. For the Bulls, Ball would provide a great fit next to Zach Lavine. He’s a better defender than Coby White and is more of a distributor. Ball next to Trae Young would also provide more defense and a pass-first guard.
Pelicans should try to keep Ball
The Pelicans should try to prioritize keeping Ball. He’s developed great chemistry with Zion Williamson with lob passes and hit-ahead in transition. Why would a team want to get rid of a player who fits perfectly with the franchise cornerstone?
O’Connor mentioned Cameron Reddish as a focal point in the deal with Atlanta. He’s way more of a question mark than Ball. The fact is that the Pelicans might not get a player of Ball’s caliber out of the deal. If the team has financial concerns, they could attempt to move off Bledsoe.
Ball fits well for what the Pelicans are building. They should try to keep him and create some continuity in the organization.