Lonzo Ball is reportedly on the trade market and he's grown into one of the most coveted targets. Here are the three trade ideas that make the most sense.
After a rough start to the season, Lonzo Ball has finally gotten his groove back. And the league has taken notice.
Ball enters the trade-deadline week with a handful of teams looking to add his 3-and-D playmaking abilities. If New Orleans had any sense, they would pay the man his due and continue to build around him, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram.
But it sounds like they’re ready to move on. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five trades that could propel Lonzo and his hypothetical new team to new heights.
New York receives: Lonzo Ball
New Orleans receives: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, one future 1st-round pick
This one makes so much sense that it will probably never happen. After leaving LA, Lonzo Ball would re-enter the national spotlight in New York for a team that suddenly looks respectable. Elfrid Payton’s days as an NBA starter have stretched out for far too long, and Ball would replace him as an ideal pick-and-roll partner for his former teammate Julius Randle.
Check out some of Ball’s impressive highlights below:
New Orleans would be taking a flyer on two young players who saw their opportunities dwindle under veteran-loving head coach Tom Thibodeau. But flipping Ball’s expiring contract for an attractive first-round pick is the real prize here.
Toronto receives: Lonzo Ball
New Orleans receives: Norman Powell, Terence Davis, 2nd round pick
Norman Powell has discovered himself this year. All it took was losing seemingly half his team to Covid protocols. The sixth-year shooting guard averaging career highs in points, threes, and free throws. And he’s hitting them at career-high rates. He could slot in at the shooting guard position, and the Pelicans could continue pushing for a play-in spot. Toronto could throw in promising young wing Terence Davis and a 2nd-round pick to mitigate the risk of Powell bolting in free agency.
Check out highlights from Powell’s recent 43-point explosion:
Lonzo Ball would be a snug fit next to Fred Van Vleet in Toronto’s backcourt. He could take the tougher defensive assignments while splitting the playmaking duties with Van Vleet and Siakam. LaVar Ball might not be happy about his son moving countries, but honestly, who cares.
Chicago receives: Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams
New Orleans receives: Tomas Satoransky, Wendell Carter Jr., and Otto Porter Jr.
The Steven Adams-Zion Williamson pairing was fun in theory. Putting two of the NBA’s strongest big men together should’ve formed one of the league’s most intimidating frontcourts, right? It hasn’t exactly panned out.
Adams has dropped to career lows in win shares and defensive win shares, and the fit just doesn’t quite make sense in the modern NBA. In Chicago, however, he would be surrounded by shooters that desperately need a solid, defensive-minded big.
Lonzo Ball would give the Bulls their point guard of the future and the perfect defensive complement to Zach Lavine.
Wendell Carter Jr. is having an off-year, but he’s only 21-years-old. If he can come anywhere near his projection as a playmaking, defensive-minded big similar to Al Horford, he would slot perfectly in New Orleans. He’s shown an ability to stretch the floor, which is the exact quality Zion’s ideal frontcourt mate would need.
Check out his wide-ranging skillset below:
Satoransky and Porter Jr. allow New Orleans to compete for a play-in spot this year. Or they could flip them both for more assets.