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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

Lonzo Ball will not sign rookie contract extension with Pelicans

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball’s long-term future with the New Orleans Pelicans is in some doubt.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Ball and the Pelicans have ended talks about a long-term extension, meaning the guard will become a restricted free agent next summer. Ball’s agent, Rich Paul, stated that the two sides remain optimistic that something will eventually be worked out.

Monday is the deadline for eligible players to sign rookie contract extensions, so this is an indication that Ball and the Pelicans probably weren’t particularly close to an agreement as the deadline loomed. It’s clear that the Pelicans would like to keep Ball, though, and they would be able to match any offer the guard receives next summer even without a new contract extension.

Ball has won plaudits from his teammates and seems to have found a home in New Orleans. It’s pretty clear that there’s still an opening, and even a mutual interest, in getting something done. It just won’t happen until the summer now.

Photo: Erik Drost/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

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