Lonzo Ball Trade Rumors: Pelicans Open to Discussing Deals for PG, JJ Redick

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Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans have received trade interest in veteran guards Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Charania reported the Pelicans have “shown an openness to discussing trades around both with interested teams.” However, he cautioned a trade involving either player isn’t “imminent.”

According to Ian Begley of SNY, one team said the Pelicans will not trade Ball without receiving a “significant” return.

Ball and the Pelicans were unable to reach an agreement on a new contract before the deadline to do so in December. His agent, Rich Paul, indicated to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski at the time that “both sides remain positive about the ability to move forward together.”

Ball is due to be a restricted free agent in the offseason, while Redick will be an unrestricted free agent.

That New Orleans might move on from Ball is somewhat surprising since the 23-year-old fits with the franchise’s general timeline. And the Pelicans are clearly willing to invest in their best young players after signing Brandon Ingram to a five-year, $158.3 million deal in November.

Ball is struggling to open the 2020-21 season, though. He’s averaging 12.0 points, 4.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from deep. He knocked down 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts during his encouraging 2019-20 campaign.

Ball has yet to enjoy the kind of breakthrough that would put him in the upper tier at his position. Going from him to Nickeil Alexander-Walker or Kira Lewis Jr. may not be a steep drop at point guard.

Charania reported the Pelicans and Golden State Warriors talked over a swap involving Kelly Oubre Jr. Even if Ball wasn’t included in those discussions, it possibly signals a desire for New Orleans to strengthen its depth on the wing, making a Ball trade one avenue through which to make that happen.

Redick, meanwhile, is a far more logical candidate to go before the March 25 deadline.

The Pelicans are second-to-last in the Western Conference at 5-10, so challenging for the playoffs may be a bridge too far. Because of that, cashing in on Redick makes sense because his contributions may not change the team’s fortunes too much.

The 36-year-old is shooting only 30 percent on three-pointers, but his reputation as a long-range marksman is well earned. An organization with stronger postseason ambitions could certainly use him in the rotation.

NBA rumors: Pelicans open to Lonzo Ball trade calls

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The New Orleans Pelicans have shown an openness to discussing trades involving guards Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Ball, 23, is a restricted free agent this offseason and is playing just over 31 minutes per game this season. Redick, 36, is in the final year of a two-year contract he signed prior to the 2019-20 season and is averaging just 20.5 minutes per game, his lowest total since the 2008-09 season.

According to The Athletic, a move involving either isn’t imminent, but a possible deal would allow the team to better evaluate recent draft picks, guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis.

The Pelicans are 5-10 on the season, giving them the second-worst record in the Western Conference. The Pelicans have been pleased with Van Gundy’s job early in his first season with the franchise, according to The Athletic.

Check out the latest news and notes from around the NBA:

New Orleans Pelicans: 3 teams that need to trade for Lonzo Ball

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The New Orleans Pelicans are going to be at the center of NBA trade rumors until the trade deadline.

Shams Charania reported that the Pels are already getting calls about Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick, who are the most likely to be traded.

The Pelicans, viewed as a key team in NBA trade market, are receiving calls on Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick from interested teams and have shown openness to discussing both, per sources. More in latest Inside Pass at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/KpLWLLTMZ3 — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2021

We all knew this was going to happen at some point, as both Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick are in the final years of their deals and would likely net assets for the New Orleans Pelicans in a trade.

Lonzo can’t be too happy with his role or numbers at the moment, so there is no guarantee that he is going to re-sign with the Pelicans or that they would even be interested.

Lonzo Ball is a marquee name, and though he has not played well this season, he’s shown enough to intrigue teams that may want to add a big name to their roster.

Here are three teams who need to trade for Lonzo Ball.

New Orleans Pelicans: Trading Lonzo Ball to the Knicks

The New York Knicks

We wrote about a potential Lonzo trade to New York and it makes sense.

They could use a pass-first point guard and have the necessary assets to get him.

New York is sitting in the 8th seed and would love to make the playoffs. They would also like to add a player that someone outside of New York has actually heard of.

The Knicks are short on star power and even though Lonzo Ball has not played like a star, he has the fans of one and would instantly bring them to the Knicks.

The question is whether the Knicks would be willing to deal one of their young players to get him. Kevin Knox and a 1st-rounder would work for the New Orleans Pelicans.