Pelicans Guard ‘A Possibility’ in a Trade With Bulls: Insider

Lonzo Ball, potential Bulls trade target

Getty Lonzo Ball, potential Bulls trade target

Another day, another healthy bit of speculation about what the Bulls should do to bolster their roster, which has been disappointing because of the team’s 8-11 record, but promising enough to still give the team some hope for the postseason—especially considering the COVID-19 issues that cost the team several players in early January games.

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This time it comes from Brian Windhorst, the veteran ESPN reporter and host of the Hoop Collective. Speaking on his podcast, Windhorst noted that the Bulls would be a “possibility” for a trade involving Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball.

“They have shopped (Eric) Bledsoe, Lonzo, and (JJ) Redick,” Windhorst said. “One of the places that, in addition to Golden State, that you think of Lonzo as a possibility … would be Chicago. If Chicago might have interest there, but we’ll see about that. Lonzo just had a spectacular game on Saturday, one of the best games he’s had this year, if not the best. It would be an interesting time to trade him.”

Lonzo Ball Could Bring Order for Bulls’ Scorers

Ball would be a potentially smart fit in Chicago, given the fact that he is only 23 years old and has an uncanny knack for playmaking. With the scorers the Bulls have in the starting five—Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White—Ball could potentially serve as an organizing force at the point guard spot.

At his best, Ball is an incredible passer who rebounds his position very well. He averaged 7.0 assists last season and 6.1 rebounds, to go with his 11.8 points per game and very respectable 37.5% 3-point shooting. Ideally, Ball could be a point guard who focused on getting everyone involved without needed many shots for himself.

But Ball, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA draft, would need to be an offensive threat from the perimeter, and he is not a reliable shooter. This season, Ball has fallen back to just 32.5% from the arc and only 39.9% from the field.

While Ball might be an attractive piece to go with the Bulls’ scorers, Chicago seems committed, at least in the short term, to giving White a chance to keep the job of starting point guard. He is averaging 5.7 assists per game, even as the role of playmaker still appears to be a struggle for him.

Lonzo’s Breakout Game Followed by 2 Duds

As Windhorst mentioned, Ball picked an interesting time last week to have by far the best game of his season, and one of the best of his career. Ball shot 10-for-20 from the field, and 7-for-13 from the 3-point line, registering 27 points and eight assists.

“I just stay the course,” Ball told reporters when asked about the rumors. “I’ve been playing basketball for a long time. I put a lot of work in and just try to play my game. That’s how I play. I just try to stay away from all the noise and just go out there and try to help my team win games.”

Of course, the shine on Ball dulled rather quickly, when he turned around and posted just 21 points and nine assists in his next two games out combined, shooting 8-for-21 from the field and 3-for-11 from the 3-point line.

So much for that spectacular game.

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