Lonzo Ball Discusses LiAngelo Signing with Pistons, Pelicans Contract, More

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 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

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball met with the media Thursday and discussed a number of topics, including the fact that he is no longer the only member of his family in the NBA.

He said he was proud of brothers LaMelo (drafted No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Hornets) and LiAngelo (signed to a non-guaranteed contract by the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium) for reaching the NBA as well:

New Orleans Pelicans @PelicansNBA

Lonzo on all of the Ball brothers now being in the NBA https://t.co/itdvnVSV0w

Ball also said this was a "different" and long offseason but pointed out it allowed him to work on his game and body instead of focusing on injury rehab like he has in the past.

While the Pelicans did not reach the playoffs, they were one of the 22 teams invited to the Walt Disney World Resort for the league's restart. They did not win enough games to climb the Western Conference standings, meaning Ball's last contest was Aug. 11.

That leaves him with plenty of time before the Pelicans' 2020-21 opener in late December.

This is also the final season before Ball can hit restricted free agency, but he said his focus is on the court.

"I'm not worried about the contract talks," he told reporters. "I want to do what I can to help the team."

He can do so by evolving, especially since Jrue Holiday is no longer on the roster as a primary ball-handler. Ball averaged 11.8 points, 7.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game last season while shooting a career-high 37.5 percent from three-point range.

If he continues to stuff the stat sheet and improve on that outside shooting while taking advantage of the spacing that playing alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram creates, the Pelicans could challenge for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

Doing that would also help Ball's leverage in any eventual contract negotiations, even if his focus is on the court for now.