Lonzo Ball 'Has Made It Clear' He Wants to Play for Pelicans, David Griffin Says

Adam WellsMarch 26, 2021

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 18: Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans warms up before the game at Moda Center against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 18, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Lonzo Ball's future with the New Orleans Pelicans will be a key storyline for the organization this offseason since he remained with the team at Thursday's trade deadline. 

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin said that Ball has "made it clear" he wants to stay in New Orleans.

There was speculation leading up to the trade deadline that Ball was going to be moved. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on the Woj and Lowe Trade Deadline Special (h/t Jacob Rude of USA Today) that the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls discussed Ball with the Pelicans. 

New Orleans didn't go into sell mode, despite ranking 12th in the Western Conference standings with a 19-24 record. The only notable move made by the team was sending JJ Redick and Nicolo Melli to the Dallas Mavericks for James Johnson, Wes Iwundu and a 2021 second-round draft pick. 

Ball is eligible for restricted free agency this offseason. Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Thursday that the 23-year-old is seeking a deal worth $20 million per season. 

In 38 games so far in 2020-21, Ball is averaging a career-high 14.2 points on 38.5 percent three-point shooting. He's also averaging 5.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per contest.