Lonzo Ball Trade Rumors: Knicks, Nuggets Join Bulls, Hawks as Potential Suitors

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 22, 2021

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) dribbles in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

Lonzo Ball is generating significant trade interest across the NBA if the New Orleans Pelicans decide to move their starting point guard.

Per Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets are the latest teams to express interest in acquiring Ball prior to Thursday's trade deadline. 

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor previously reported that the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks were both pursuing Ball. 

Fischer did note that the Pelicans "do not appear as motivated to move Ball as they once did." He specifically cited an earlier discussion between New Orleans and Chicago that would have sent Ball to the Bulls in exchange for Lauri Markkanen, but "those talks have not yet seemed close to substantial."

The Knicks and Nuggets are two playoff contenders who could use help at point guard. New York already boasts one of the NBA's best defenses, but the offense ranks just 23rd in rating and 28th in scoring with 104.7 points per game. 

Elfrid Payton has been the Knicks' primary point guard, but he's only averaging 12.6 points on 43.7 percent shooting and 3.7 assists per game. The team is currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 21-22 record. 

Denver's 25-17 record currently ranks fifth in the Western Conference. Jamal Murray has turned his season around after a slow start. He's currently averaging 21.1 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting from three-point range. 

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Ball could be used as a primary option off the bench for the Nuggets if they work out a deal with New Orleans. 

The Pelicans are in a tricky spot leading up to Thursday's trade deadline. Their young core with Ball, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram has played well this season, but the team is currently on the outside of the playoff picture with an 18-24 record. 

Ball is eligible for restricted free agency this summer. The 23-year-old is on pace to set career highs in scoring (14.2 points per game), field-goal percentage (42.5) and three-point percentage (38.5) this season.