Lonzo Ball Trade Rumors: Pelicans Could Make PG Available in Upcoming Talks

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 21, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball (2) makes his way down the court during an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Lonzo Ball may be in for another tumultuous offseason. 

Only a year after the Los Angeles Lakers sent him to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade, ESPN's Jay Williams reported there's talk in Louisiana of moving the point guard again as the Pels continue to overhaul their roster. 

"I'm hearing things around New Orleans that potentially Lonzo may be used as a trading asset," Williams said during ESPN Radio's Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin on Friday. 

Ball's first season in New Orleans had an equal amount of ups and downs. 

He started a career-high 54 games, increased his average scoring to 11.8 points and 7.0 assists per night and helped lead a young Pelicans team through a rocky first half of the season with forward Zion Williamson sidelined. 

Yet when the team had a chance to clinch the No. 8 seed in the West during the NBA restart, Ball faded and the Pelicans went home early. 

That's certainly not all on the guard, but it did show a need for rapid improvement if New Orleans is going to contend next season. There was talk of disappointment in Ball's performance even before the team left Orlando, Florida. 

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Per David Aldridge of The Athletic on Aug. 13:

"People down in Orlando tell me Lonzo Ball looked like he'd checked out the whole time the Pels were there, and that they expect some significant roster adjustments in New Orleans before next season. (And I don't doubt that there may be a desire for a new coach in the Big Easy next season, either. But with every team likely to have less to work with financially next season, I'm not sure there will be enough internal will to write a goodbye check to Alvin Gentry. We'll see.)"

Gentry was fired two days later.

Ball is still just 22 years old and figuring out his place in the NBA landscape. During his two years with the Lakers, that meant toiling in mediocrity during a rebuild. With the Pelicans, he was asked to help speed one up. 

Neither scenario have helped the guard reach his potential. That could lead another team out there to try to capitalize and get him in the right situation.