With just over 24 hours until the NBA trade deadline, the Chicago Bulls remain in pursuit of a deal for Lonzo Ball. Can they get a trade done before 3PM on Thursday?
It all depends on the New Orleans Pelicans willingness to trade the 23-year old, who will enter restricted free agency in the offseason, in search of a lucrative new deal.
Ball is averaging 14.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.
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A Field of Suitors
Over the last week, rumors have ramped ups surrounding Lonzo Ball and a potential trade before the deadline.
All of the Atlanta Hawks, Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, New York Knicks, and Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to the point guard as potential suitors.
But as of Monday, the Bulls are still firmly in the mix for Ball, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He made an early morning appearance on Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin to discuss the trade market:
I think there’s a sense on both sides that a new home would make sense for him. Chicago is a team to watch here. They need a point guard. For Ball’s side, it’s a place with some young talent, Zach LaVine. A group in Chicago under Billy Donovan that you’ve seen grow here in his first season as head coach.
The Bulls, with control and ownership of all of their future first-round picks should be considered heavy favorites over teams like Denver, LA, and Philadelphia who’re without heavy draft compensation.
And Atlanta, as much as they’d like to upgrade the roster ahead of playoffs, likely won’t. Since making a change at head coach, they’ve won eight of their last nine games, and stopped listening to offers on John Collins.
That leaves the Knicks, who according to SNY’s Ian Begley, are also not likely to make a “major trade.”
Wojnarowski finished up his Ball reporting by noting that a trade to the 76ers was “a long shot,” and that he felt “there’s a pretty good chance he moves before Thursday’s trade deadline.”
It might be Bulls or bust for a Ball trade, especially given the reported mutual interest between the point guard and the team ahead of his free agency.
Will Chicago make a convincing enough offer to New Orleans?
What Do the Pelicans Want for Ball?
Amidst all the back and forth determining whether or not the New Orleans Pelicans will part with Lonzo Ball, has been a clear uncertainty on just what they’d want in return for the point guard.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported early this week that the Bulls offered veteran point guard Tomas Satoransky and multiple second round picks, but that package was declined.
And Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that Chicago and New Orleans had at one point discussed a player-for-player swap involving Lauri Markkanen, but those talks had since subsided.
But the latest reporting from NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson suggests the Pelicans may be after a first-round pick:
As of Tuesday night, based on conversations I had with various league types, the Pelicans were asking for at least a first-round pick in any Ball deal.
Again, the Bulls have a number of firsts at their disposal, but would they give one up for a guy they’re already planning to make a run at in free agency?
Some combination of Coby White, Lauri Markkanen, and a heavily protected first would likely get a deal done here.
White becomes somewhat expendable in any potential trade for a true point guard, and it’s clear Markkanen is being shopped.
There are 24 hours until the trade deadline.