As the trade talks around New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis remain tough to gauge, one big talking point has been the status of Lonzo Ball. While Ball is likely to be part of a potential deal if the Los Angeles Lakers build one for Davis, there’s been kickback on that aspect. In turn, it’s led to speculation of a third team possibly being brought in, assuming the Pelicans decide not to push for the second-year point guard.
As The Athletic’s Shams Charania cited shortly after Davis’ trade request, Ball’s camp apparently wants him to go to a team that doesn’t have an established point guard. LaVar Ball even went as far as pegging the Phoenix Suns as the best fit. Unfortunately, Ball’s side won’t necessarily have much say in the trade talks, so there are a variety of potential spots.
When this news came to light, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pelicans view Ball as the starter and a player who “could become a star.” So how that part of a possible deal pans out is anyone’s guess, but for the time being, Ball’s status remains up in the air.
But one additional aspect of Ganguli’s report that jumped out, was that Ball’s preference would reportedly be a team like the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks, prior to the Suns chatter. With this news, we decided to create few potential three-team deals involving the Bulls to see what the offers could look like.
*All deals created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
Bulls Bring in Lonzo Ball, Send Kris Dunn to Pelicans
- Lakers receive: Anthony Davis
- Pelicans receive: Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, Brandon Ingram, Kris Dunn, Robin Lopez, three first-round picks (Lakers), one second-round pick (Bulls)
- Bulls receive: Lonzo Ball, Lance Stephenson
The Pelicans take on Robin Lopez’s contract as a part of the deal, and the Bulls send along a second-round pick with Kris Dunn in the process. While Dunn isn’t as intriguing of a prospect as Ball, it still gives the Pelicans a point guard for the future and a young core to build around.
If things pan out for New Orleans here, they could be looking at a well-rounded starting five and some additional depth as well. The picks are a big selling point, and while the Lakers surely would love to avoid sending two first-rounders, they could push the offer to the max in order to get it done before the offseason.
Bulls Trade Zach LaVine and Denzel Valentine for Lonzo Ball
- Lakers receive: Anthony Davis
- Pelicans receive: Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, Brandon Ingram, Zach LaVine, Denzel Valentine, three first-round picks (Lakers)
- Bulls receive: Lonzo Ball, Lance Stephenson, Julius Randle
It’s expected that the Pelicans will be open to moving Julius Randle for a second-round pick so I think this deal is enough to get the job done. The Bulls take a big step forward in their rebuild but move on from a player who has quite a bit of upside in Zach LaVine. New Orleans adds four players who are under contract beyond this season and will help moving forward.
As for the Lakers, this marks the same core of players they’re giving away above. It’s somewhat built under the assumption that they push near the deadline and simply want to avoid the deal going into the offseason. If that were the case, the Boston Celtics could jump in and everything gets a whole lot tougher for Magic Johnson and company.