As they continue to struggle in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to swirl around the New Orleans Pelicans who are expected to move several players before the February trade deadline. Though most rumors in New Orleans currently involve Jrue Holiday, Jacob Rude of USA Today Sports’ Lonzo Wire believes that players like Lonzo Ball could also be up for grabs if the right deal comes along. One of the NBA teams who could express interest in acquiring the 22-year-old point guard is the New York Knicks.
In his recent article, Rude listed five trade ideas involving the former No. 2 overall pick. In the proposed trade deal that would send Ball to New York, Rude suggested that the Knicks could offer a package including Kevin Knox and a 2022 first-round selection. To make the deal work financially, New York would have to add more players to match the Pelicans’ outgoing salary.
Rude believes that the Knicks would receive plenty of benefits from trading Knox for Ball. Though they currently have Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., and Elfrid Payton at the point guard position, none of them seem to be a good fit in the team’s long-term plan. Aside from giving them their point guard of the future, Rude thinks that the potential arrival of Ball would enable the Knicks to set up a potential reunion with his brother LaMelo Ball — a projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — in New York.
“Depending on their thoughts of his long-term projections, the Knicks would be wise to sell now on Knox before his value gets any lower. Attaching a first with him, one of many extras they have, could land them their point guard of the future. It could also set up a potential Ball-Ball backcourt with LaMelo Ball projected to be a top pick in the NBA Draft and the Knicks projected to be one of the teams in the race for the top pick. That would create the most interest and excitement for the Knicks in a half-decade.”
The potential deal would not only be beneficial for New York but also for the Pelicans. In exchange for Ball, the Pelicans would be acquiring another young and promising talent in Knox and a future draft pick that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. As Rude noted, the acquisition of the former Kentucky Wildcats star would enable the Pelicans to free up their backcourt while providing another option in the wing. Though some people consider him as a draft bust, moving to a new environment could help Knox find the right path toward legitimate superstardom in the NBA.