With a few days to go ahead of the deadline, there’s rumors surrounding a potential Lonzo Ball trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.
In the midst of a career season, the 23-year-old Ball is slated to become a restricted free agent. There’s no telling whether he figures in to the Pelicans’ plans for the future.
Rumors of a potential Ball trade have been circulating for pretty much the entire 2020-21 NBA season. That includes the Golden State Warriors previously engaging New Orleans in talks for the former No. 2 pick. Could it happen? According to Klay Thompson’s father, former NBA great Mychal Thompson, it should happen.
“Lonzo can play,” Thompson said recently, via Yahoo! Sports. “I wish he was on the Warriors passing the ball to Steph (Curry) and Klay.”
It would certainly be an interesting fit. The presence of Ball would enable Stephen Curry to play more off-ball. And once he returns from his latest injury next season, Thompson could potentially move to the three.
However, there’s complications here. First off, LaVar Ball does not get along with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. They’ve gone back and forth with jabs recently.
“He called me the Kardashian of basketball. All he had to do was call me LaVar Ball and we woulda been fine,” Ball said recently. “I call him the Milli Vanilli because you ain’t coaching, you just standing up. I could coach them with my eyes closed.”
Obviously, Ball would prefer that his son doesn’t get traded to the Warriors. Whether he even has any input remains to be seen. With that said, the boisterous helicopter dad also doesn’t want Ball to remain on the Pelicans.
“No! No! He can’t stay in New Orleans,” LaVar declared. “Lonzo’s always been a playmaker,” Ball said. “Why are you trying to change him into a defensive specialist that stays in the corner and shoots 3s? And you trying to change Zion (Williamson) and Brandon Ingram — who all through their careers have never been playmakers — now you want to put the ball in their hands.”
If Lonzo Ball is indeed traded, the Warriors would be among the most-intriguing fits. That list also includes a New York Knicks team that has been in on Ball for some time now.
As for Golden State, pulling off a deal for Ball would be somewhat complicated.
Read More: 4 ideal Lonzo Ball trade scenarios
How would a Lonzo Ball trade to the Golden State Warriors look?
It was previously noted that three-and-D wing Kelly Oubre would be involved in a hypothetical Ball trade to Northern California. Whether the rebuilding Pelicans want to add the impending free agent to the mix remains to be seen.
In fact, front office head David Griffin might push back against that if he doesn’t view Oubre as a long-term fit in New Orleans. Instead, any deal would likely include stud former first-round pick Jordan Poole as a centerpiece heading back to the Pelicans.
They want a more traditional two-guard with the backcourt combination of Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe not working out. As for Poole, he’s picked his game up recently since leading the NBA G-League in scoring.
In seven games since returning to the Warriors, the 21-year-old Poole is averaging 20.9 points on a resounding 44% shooting from distance. He’d be an ideal fit with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram in New Orleans. With that in mind, here’s how a potential Lonzo Ball trade to the Warriors might look like.
- Warriors get: Lonzo Ball
- Pelicans get: Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, Brad Wanamaker, future first and second-round picks
As has been the case since he took over in New Orleans, David Griffin is doing everything possible to add draft pick assets. In fact, the Pelicans have 23 picks over the next seven years. Adding Poole as well as two future draft picks for Ball would be seen as a win.
For Golden State, this potential blockbuster makes sense in a number of different ways. The Warriors would move Klay Thompson to the three next season with Andrew Wiggins taking on a Sixth Man role. Draymond Green and James Wiseman round out the starting five, providing Golden State with a championship-caliber roster.