NBA Rumors: Knicks Could Trade Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox & 2021 1st-Rounder For Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball finding an open teammate
Gettyimages | Andy Lyons
Basketball

In the past months, rumors have continuously swirled around Lonzo Ball and his future with the New Orleans Pelicans. At 23, Ball perfectly fits the timeline of Pelicans' franchise cornerstones Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Unfortunately, it seems as though the Pelicans don't see Ball as one of the young players that will lead them to title contention.

According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Ball isn't in the Pelicans' long-term plans and is likely to be moved before the 2021 trade deadline.

Lonzo Ball To Big Apple

Lonzo Ball shooting the ball
Gettyimages | Chris Graythen

So far, Ball has already been linked to several teams that are eyeing to improve their backcourt this season, including the New York Knicks. Though they are currently having an impressive 2020-21 NBA season, the Knicks are currently active on the trade market and finding ways to boost their chances of ending their playoff drought this year.

With their need for upgrade at the starting point guard position, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report believes that trading for Ball would make a lot of sense for the Knicks.

"Ball would give head coach Tom Thibodeau a defensive-minded guard and offensive accelerator who would fit in nicely with young scorer Immanuel Quickley and All-Star point forward Julius Randle."

Potential Knicks' Offer To Acquire Lonzo Ball

As of now, it remains unknown if there's an ongoing trade negotiation between the Knicks and the Pelicans involving the former No. 2 overall pick. However, if the Knicks end up pursuing Ball before the 2021 trade deadline, Pincus suggested that they offer a package that includes two of their young players and a future first-round pick.

"The cost for New York could be something like Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox and, if needed, the 2021 first-round pick from the Dallas Mavericks."

Knicks Add Quality Two-Way Guard

Ball would undeniably be an interesting addition to the Knicks. His arrival in New York wouldn't only give them a long-term answer at the starting point guard position, but it would also bring a significant improvement on both ends of the floor. Ball could help the Knicks in terms of scoring, playmaking, defending the perimeter, and floor-spacing.

This season, the 23-year-old floor general is averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 reounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Knicks Could Offer Lonzo Ball Lucrative Contract

Trading for Ball comes with a risk since he is set to hit the free agency market after the 2020-21 NBA season. However, since he would be a restricted free agent, the only that the Knicks need to do to bring him back is match the offers of other teams. Unlike the Pelicans who are reportedly hesitant to pay the $20 million per season that Ball is expected to demand in the 2021 free agency, the Knicks are willing to throw away a huge amount of money to keep the former No. 2 overall pick long-term on their roster.