The Lonzo Ball rumors just won’t stop, particularly where the Los Angeles Clippers are concerned. There was scattered talk throughout the season linking the Pelicans point guard to the Clippers, and now, that talk is reaching a near-deafening pitch.
Ball is officially a restricted free agent this summer, and he’s likely to be pursued by several teams, with the Clippers apparently at the top of his list of suitors. According to the latest report from one top NBA insider, if the Clips make Ball a good offer, the Pelicans aren’t likely to match it.
Top NBA Insider Links Clips to Ball
Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Pelicans aren’t likely to match any offer Ball receives from another team this offseason, making his departure from New Orleans more than a tad likely.
“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,” Charania wrote on July 13. “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) this past season,” he added.
Charania also noted that New Orleans is planning on hiring Phoenix Suns assistant coach Willie Green very soon, so change could very well be on the horizon for the Pelicans. Does that guarantee Ball’s exit? Absolutely not — but all signs are pointing that way.
Ball, who spent his first two seasons with the Lakers and his last two with the Pelicans, also shot a career-best 41.4% from the floor this season, and now, he may very well wind up playing for his third different team in five years.
Ball Could Also Be Reunited With Lakers
While the Clippers are fully expected to make a run at Ball, so is that other team who plays at Staples. Look for the Lakers to explore a few avenues to bring back the player they drafted second overall just four seasons ago. “Expect to eventually hear of them searching for potential pathways, however obstacle-strewn they would be, to reacquiring restricted free agent-to-be Lonzo Ball for that reason,” NBA analyst Marc Stein said about the Lakers, per USA Today.
For his part, Ball hasn’t said anything recently about where he’d like to wind up. “I was prepared for anything. I know a lot of people were calling,” Ball said in March after the trade deadline when asked about trade rumors surrounding him, via ESPN. “But ultimately, what happened was supposed to happen and I’m where I’m supposed to be at.”
“I think about the summer when the summer comes,” Ball added then. Summer is here, and the offers will likely begin pouring in again soon. Whether the Clips have one of the top offers for Ball’s services will be one of the more intriguing dramas for Clipper Nation to keep an eye on this offseason. If they do, he could very well be joining Kawhi and company.