Lonzo Ball Has Handled Pelicans Trade Rumors 'Pretty Good,' Brandon Ingram Says

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2021

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) dribbles up court in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in New Orleans, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Even though New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball's name has frequently been mentioned in trade talks, Brandon Ingram thinks his teammate has handled the rumors well. 

Speaking to Scott Kushner of NOLA.com, Ingram praised Ball for his ability to tune out the noise. 

"I mean, he knows his name is being involved with being traded and all of that, but the way he’s handled it is pretty good," Ingram said. "He comes in forceful and ready to play the game of basketball, and he’s there for all of his brothers on the basketball court."

The Pelicans are off to a disappointing 8-12 start this season, leaving doubt about what direction they will take leading up to the trade deadline. 

ESPN's Tim Bontemps reported on Thursday that New Orleans has "already engaged teams" in talks about Ball and J.J. Redick. 

Redick is in the final season of his contract and will be eligible for free agency this summer. Ball is eligible for restricted free agency if he receives a $14.4 million qualifying offer. 

One reason Ball appears to be handling trade talk so well is because he's been in this position before. The 23-year-old was frequently mentioned, along with Ingram, as part of the Los Angeles Lakers' proposed package for Anthony Davis before the deal became official in July 2019. 

After struggling to find his shot at the start of the season, Ball has hit his stride over the past two weeks. He is averaging 14.3 points and 4.9 assists with a 41.5 three-point percentage in seven games since Jan. 20.