Reports for essentially this entire season have indicated that the New Orleans Pelicans are willing to listen to other teams when they call about the availability of Lonzo Ball. According to a new report by Marc Stein of the New York Times, one such team with plenty of interest is in Ball’s old stomping grounds of the Staples Center, but it would hardly be a chance for him to suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers again.
Stein reports that the Los Angeles Clippers are doing what they can to try and figure out a way to acquire Ball, who is slated to become a restricted free agent at the end of this season. The clock is ticking on their ability to pull off a deal, though, as the NBA’s trade deadline for this season is next Thursday.
The Clippers, with a well-chronicled need for a playmaking upgrade, are exploring trade routes to acquiring New Orleans' Lonzo Ball before next Thursday's NBA trade deadline, league sources say.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 19, 2021
As Stein notes, the Clippers could use a playmaker in their backcourt, and Ball very much fits that bill. He is in the midst of a career year with the Pelicans, averaging 14.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 31.7 minutes per game as a member of the team’s starting lineup. He’s also connecting on 38.5 percent of his triples.
Ball, who played for the Lakers from 2017-19 before he was sent to New Orleans in the Anthony Davis trade, makes a ton of sense in Los Angeles, both as an on-ball playmaker and as someone who can play off the ball when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are running the offense. The question is what they could possibly give up to make a deal happen — they have some contracts that could be moved in a deal for Ball, while a number of their future Draft picks are owned by the Oklahoma City Thunder due to the Paul George trade. Stein did note that the most likely avenue for a deal would require bringing on board a third team.