According to recent reports, inking the 23-year-old might be as simple as outbidding other interested teams.
Pelicans Aren’t Expected to Match Offers for Lonzo Ball: Report
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Pelicans aren’t likely to be an impediment if the Bulls really want to sign Ball. Charania wrote:
New Orleans is unlikely to match a significant offer sheet on Ball, sources said. Ball, 23, is among the top point guards on the free-agent market. The Bulls and Clippers are expected to be among the teams interested in him, according to sources. Ball averaged career-highs in points (14.6) and 3-point shooting (37.8 percent) this past season.
As Charania mentioned, the Los Angeles Clippers are also expected to be interested in Ball, but it is good news for the Bulls–if they are interested–that they won’t have to concern themselves with the Pelicans matching the offer. Waiting on the Pelicans to make a decision could hold up other plans the Bulls may have to improve their roster via trade or free agency.
On the downside, this is a classic situation that might result in the Bulls overpaying for Ball. Without a question, Ball has shown tons of improvement since he came into the league with the Los Angeles Lakers as the No. 2 overall pick back in 2017.
At 6’6″ with a strong frame and the penchant for being a good defender, playmaker and on-court communicator, Ball would appear to be a good fit alongside Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic.
That said, adding Ball to a core that wasn’t good enough to make the postseason during the 2020-21 campaign is risky if the contract to the young point guard takes the team out of the running for other major free agents.
Chicago would be banking on a core of LaVine, Vucevic, Ball and Williams to grow into a championship contender in the 2-3 seasons. That concept puts a ton of pressure on Ball and Williams to continue to develop.
Quite honestly, one of them needs to become a superstar, and Coby White would need to find himself as a top-notch reserve while the recently signed Marko Simonivic would be required to blossom into the kind of stretch-big that completes Chicago’s overall attack on both ends of the floor.
There are a lot of factors involved.
Bulls Will Likely Have to Part Ways With Veterans to Sign Ball
If the offer sheet for Ball is large, as expected, in order for the Bulls to make room for him on their roster, Chicago would likely have to part ways with two veterans on partially guaranteed contracts.
Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young are signed for the upcoming season, but the Bulls could renounce their rights to both players to clear an additional $13.1 million in cap space. When you also consider the Bulls must prepare to either extend LaVine during the season, or to max him out at the end of the year, it is easy to see where the concessions would have to come in if Chicago plans on chasing Ball.
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