Lonzo Ball is expected to get a lot of interest this offseason. After two seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, the young point guard has raised his stocks around the league, drawing a lot of attention around the league.
He was already said to be on the move during the trade deadline, but nothing happened. Now that he's entering free agency, more teams will try to make a move for Lonzo. According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, there are five strong candidates to acquire Ball's services.
There’s a lot of buzz that Lonzo Ball may be available, including recent reporting from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, and that could offer an opportunity to get a starting-caliber, 23-year-old point guard in the free-agent market for a needy team. Obviously, the Knicks are the first place to start because they’re always the first place to start with free agents, but teams like Chicago, Dallas, Miami or Toronto could all be players here. (And if we want to get crazy, how about a Lonzo-Lowry sign-and-trade?)
The idea that Ball can’t shoot is now officially tired; he made 37.8 percent of his 3s at a high volume and shot 78.1 percent from the line last year, and is at 35.3 percent career from 3. The bigger misgiving is about his shot creation inside the arc and his still-iffy ability to run pick-and-roll in the half court. Ball can guard the position and is gifted in transition, but he works best with another perimeter shot creator.
As a result, teams are likely to pump the brakes well short of a max contract on Ball. Something in the range of four years and $100 million seems a more likely ceiling given the offensive concerns; that’s already spendy for somebody who can be the third-best player on a good team but probably no more than that.
After a tumultuous stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, Lonzo landed in New Orleans in the blockbuster deal that sent Anthony Davis to Los Angeles. Now Zo could be on the move again, and the Lakers can be a landing spot for him, too. However, it seems like the five teams that Hollinger mentions have a more significant case to land Ball.