The New Orleans Pelicans appear ready to let Lonzo Ball walk in restricted free agency this offseason.
According to Stadium’s Shams Charania, the Pelicans will not match any significant offer sheet that comes Ball’s way this summer. The Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams interested in the point guard, Charania adds.
Moving Ball this summer would likely not make superstar Zion Williamson too happy. The 21-year-old referred to Ball during exit interviews as a generational talent. Brandon Ingram added that he “really wanted” Ball to return next season.
Previous reports indicated the Pelicans would not offer Ball more than $18 million annually, but the California native’s market could potentially be in the $20 million per year range.
Chicago has been heavily linked to Ball over the last several months. During the season, the Pelicans and Bulls even held trade discussions leading up to the deadline that never materialized into anything serious. Still, Chicago’s interest remains, and the Bulls have enough cap space to make a deal happen.
Los Angeles also expressed interest in Ball at the trade deadline but was unable to put together an offer that interested the Pelicans. In order to sign Ball, the Clippers would need to work a sign-and-trade because they do not have enough cap space to sign him in free agency.
Ball had the best season of his career during the 2020-21 campaign, averaging a career-high 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game while shooting 41.4% from the field and 37.8% from deep.