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One name to watch ahead of the 2021 NBA trade deadline is New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball. He has the interest of several teams, including the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball may want to sign with the New York Knicks this summer, but he is drawing major trade interest as we approach the 2021 NBA trade deadline. Two teams who are keen on him are the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reports of Atlanta and Chicago’s interest in Ball. He says the Bulls have offered New Orleans point guard Tomas Satoransky and second-round picks, but the Pelicans have not budged. Discussions with Atlanta involve wing Cam Reddish going the other way. Ball could thrive playing alongside Zach LaVine in Chicago or with Trae Young in Atlanta.
Why would the New Orleans Pelicans want to part ways with Lonzo Ball?
Ball will be hitting restricted free agency this summer. While the Pelicans could match any offer Ball garners on the open market, they already have two other players they would prioritize paying over him first in forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Keep in mind this core has not done a ton of winning thus far since Williamson came into the league out of Duke last season.
While Ball in Chicago could be interesting, him going to Atlanta could signify Williamson reuniting with his former Duke teammate Reddish in the Big Easy. Either way, Ball does not seem like he is part of the Pelicans’ long-term plans. Because he does have considerable trade value, he could be one of the biggest names switching teams by the end of the workweek.
Though Ball may be traded, it will be more interesting to see where he ends up ahead of 2021-22.