Pelicans reportedly want significant return for Lonzo Ball
The New Orleans Pelicans are said to be listening to offers for Lonzo Ball, but they are not going to simply give the former No. 2 overall pick away.
Following up on a report that the Pelicans are open to trading Ball and/or JJ Redick, SNY’s Ian Begley was told by sources that Ball will only be traded “for the right asking price.” One team familiar with the situation told Begley the Pelicans will not deal Ball unless the return is significant.
Ball is set to become a restricted free agent after the season. It’s possible the Pelicans are not planning to bring him back. New Orleans is off to a 6-10 start in a strong Western Conference, so they may be more inclined to trade Ball if they fall further from contention.
The Pelicans want to build around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and trading Ball and/or Redick would create more opportunities for young guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis to develop.
Ball, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has averaged 12.0 points and 4.7 assists per game this season. We know of at least one contending team that may have interest in acquiring him.