Lonzo Ball is, perhaps, one of New Orleans' most highly-valued players. As the 23-year-old prepares to enter restricted free agency this summer, the Pelicans are going to do everything they can to keep him, which will likely result in a large payday for Zo.
But just how much is the young two-way guard worth? While Ball will have plenty of suitors this upcoming summer, some aren't so convinced that he's as fleshed out as he's made out to be.
Beyond the shooting development, though, Ball still has all those other skills that make him unique and fit in so nicely with this era: the open floor abilities, up-tempo style and court vision for days. His defense isn’t what some scouts believe it could be, or even should be, to this point.
“He’s just not an impactful defender (right now),” one scout said, via The Athletic.
Interestingly, Ball is often touted as one of the best perimeter and on-ball defenders in the game. Certainly, most would say he's above average.
Then again, the Pelicans are ranked 27th overall defensively and are 26th in the league in points allowed. Consider those placements alongside the Pels' 11th place standing in the West, and it's easy to see how one might question the impact Lonzo makes on both ends of the floor.
Nevertheless, he will have the chance to prove himself soon enough. And, despite the doubters, he's in for a sizeable payday in just a few short months.