When he was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, most people thought that Lonzo Ball would be one of the young players to lead the New Orleans Pelicans in the post-Anthony Davis era. However, after they failed to secure a playoff spot in the Western Conference, rumors started to swirl around Ball and his future with the Pelicans. With his dismal performance in the Orlando bubble, there are speculations that the Pelicans may consider trading Ball in the 2020 offseason.
If he becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams who are in dire need of a backcourt boost are expected to express a strong interest in adding Ball to their roster. According to Brad Berremen of Fansided, one of the potential suitors for Ball this fall is the New York Knicks. In the trade scenario proposed by Fansided, the Knicks would be sending a package that includes Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, and a 2020 first-rounder to New Orleans in exchange for Ball.
“Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the No. 9 pick in the 2017 draft is a possible trade chip. The pick before him the same draft (by the Knicks though), Frank Ntilikina is in similar boat to Smith. If Rose and Thibodeau are of the same mind on either or both of them, a ‘take what you can get’ trade or two may be coming. Kevin Knox, the ninth overall pick in 2018 by the Knicks, could be on the move too if there’s a deal out there.”
The potential arrival of Ball in New York would undeniably give the Knicks an upgrade at the point guard position. He may have struggled with his performance in the Orlando bubble, but based on the entire regular season, he is, no doubt, better than the three floor generals – Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina – currently on the Knicks’ roster. In the 63 games he played, the 22-year-old point guard averaged 11.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Ball wouldn’t have a hard time playing for a big market team like the Knicks after the two years he spent with the Purple and Gold. If he further improves his three-point shooting, he would be a better fit alongside RJ Barrett, whom the New York team selected as third overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
If the deal becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Knicks, but also for the Pelicans. In exchange for Ball, they would be receiving two players that fit the timeline of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans could use the 2020 first-rounder to add another young and promising talent or as a trade chip to further improve their roster.