During the 2020 offseason, rumors were circulating that All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard was urging the Los Angeles Clippers to trade for a starting-caliber point guard. They may have Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley on their roster, but neither veteran can be considered a true point guard. In the past months, the Clippers have already been linked to several floor generals who are rumored to be available on the trading block, including Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans.
In a recent article, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network suggested a hypothetical deal that would enable the Clippers to land Ball before the 2021 trade deadline. In the proposed scenario, the Clippers would be sending a package that includes Williams, Terance Mann, Rayjon Tucker, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Ball and a 2024 second-round pick.
Ball has yet to reach the level of Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, and James Harden, but he could still be an incredible addition to the Clippers. His arrival in Los Angeles could ease the load on Leonard and Paul George’s shoulders in terms of playmaking and ball-handling. Siegel believes that having a player like Ball on their roster could improve the Clippers’ chances of dominating the loaded Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 season.
“The Los Angeles Clippers are legit championship contenders with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leading them, but they need to acquire a better point guard in order to contend with the defending champion Lakers. Lonzo Ball is not only capable of being a facilitator, but he can also thrive as being a secondary passer and playing off-the-ball. The best part about Lonzo Ball’s game is that he is an extremely unselfish player who is always willing to make the extra pass. With shooters like Paul George and Luke Kennard sitting on the wing and corner, that extra pass could wind up being a major difference in this Clippers’ offense.”
Ball may not have shown a strong indication that he’s no longer happy in New Orleans, but there’s a chance he may be intrigued by the idea of playing for a legitimate title contender like the Clippers. Compared to the Pelicans, joining forces with Leonard and George in Los Angeles could give him a more realistic chance of winning his first championship ring this season.
Meanwhile, the proposed scenario could also be beneficial for the Pelicans. It might not only help them address their logjam in their backcourt, but it would also give them a very reliable bench scorer in Williams, two talented prospects in Mann and Tucker, and two future draft assets that they could use to add more promising players to their team.