On Wednesday morning, Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson reported that the New Orleans Pelicans' young point guard Lonzo Ball has garnered interest from other teams including the Toronto Raptors, the Orlando Magic, the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Clippers and ... the Dallas Mavericks.
So, what do we think of the rumor? And the idea?
In 2019, Ball was included in a hefty package deal centered around superstar center Anthony Davis. The Lakers gave up Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and multiple picks in exchange for the Pelicans' franchise player.
The trade seemed to work out well for both teams. Ingram has enjoyed great success with the Pelicans, playing at an All-Star level while arguably being the best basketball player in New Orleans. The Lakers, meanwhile, are coming off an NBA championship with Davis’s help.
Ball hasn’t played at the same level Ingram has, but the Pelicans point guard is currently averaging 11.9 points, 4.4 assists, 4.0 boards, and 1.3 steals per game this season. Ball has shot just 40% from the field during his time in New Orleans, but he’s shooting a more respectable 36% from deep during that span, too.
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The New Orleans Pelicans and Ball (former No. 2 overall pick) were unable to agree on a rookie extension this offseason, positioning Ball to become a restricted free agent next summer.
For the Mavericks, Ball could potentially be a good addition, especially when it comes to the defensive end. A Ball fan could argue that Dallas would benefit from the true point guard, who would help the team defensively and allow Luka Doncic to move more without the ball.
Make no mistake, Ball still has a lot of improvements he can make on the offensive end of the floor to live up to the hype that surrounded him when he entered the league, but coach Rick Carlisle, who has helped out many players in that department over the years, could potentially help him grow.
One big "improvement'' Ball has made? He's professionally separated himself from his theatrical father LaVar.
We believe the Pels would be interested in moving Ball. And we know the Mavericks need ... something.
But this report feels more "speculative'' than "sourced,'' in part because while Ball might be an improvement over a couple of the young guys on the back end of the Dallas rotation, he seems unlikely to move the needle when it comes to changing - or even helping - the big-minute guys.
So let's file it away, for now, for the summer. Ball is an RFA after the season. If the Mavs like him, on some level, and coach Rick Carlisle feels like he can help him improve as a shooter ... but he can't really help the upper rotation now ...
Why spend assets to get him?
Why not simply pursue Ball in the summer, when the Pels - who figure to be overloaded at guard - are less likely to prioritize him?
Throwing Lonzo Ball's name into trade gossip now is fun. But chasing him later, if at all, on the cheap, is more sensible.
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