The New Orleans Pelicans have gotten off to a slow start to the season despite Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram being off to impressive individual campaigns. They now find themselves being one of the most often featured teams in NBA trade rumors with Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick as common fixtures.
According to Action Network’s Matt Moore, the Chicago Bulls are considered the most likely landing spot for Lonzo Ball at the NBA trade deadline. Both Ball and his agent prefer the Pelicans to trade him to Chicago.
“Multiple league sources told Action Network that Chicago is (currently) the most likely landing spot for Ball,” Moore wrote. “That’s based on multiple factors, including the preference of both Ball and his agent, Rich Paul, Chicago’s interest in making a roster move and the Pelicans’ openness to discussions.”
It’s unclear who the Pelicans would be able to land in return from the Bulls in a trade centered around Lonzo Ball. The most appealing player would be Zach LaVine but he has emerged as one of the NBA’s elite shooting guards — making it seem unlikely Chicago would consider moving him.
Assuming that Zach LaVine would not be an option, the Pelicans likely would shift course to perimeter shooting being an emphasis. This is a necessity to be able to surround Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram with in their supporting cast. This places attention on Lauri Markkanen.
The Bulls would benefit from adding a better playmaking guard like Lonzo Ball — something they’ve been mentioned for in NBA trade rumors as being interested in doing since new leadership has taken over in the front office. Chicago doesn’t feel as though Coby White makes enough of an impact in this area.
Chicago could also benefit from shifting towards playing Patrick Williams full-time at the four spot. His defensive versatility and ability to pick on slower defenders as a scorer would help elevate the Bulls’ lineup to intriguing heights if it works out.
As for the Pelicans, Lauri Markkanen would provide needed balance with his sharpshooting alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Meanwhile, moving on from Lonzo Ball would enable New Orleans to feature Kira Lewis Jr. more in their lineup combinations.
Lonzo Ball is having a respectable season with averages of 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. It’s clear why the Chicago Bulls would be enticed into making a trade for him. For now, he will likely continue to be a fixture in NBA trade rumors.