The New Orleans Pelicans have still not tipped their hand about what they decide to do with restricted free agent Lonzo Ball. The Pelicans extended Ball the qualifying offer, which made him a restricted free agent, but there are a variety of teams that have reportedly shown interest. The Bulls aren’t a surprise, as they need long been linked to Lonzo Ball in trade rumors, but I did think the Celtics were somewhat unlikely suitors, in order that surprised me. All of those teams could just offer Lonzo Ball a deal and if the Pelicans don’t want to match the most important one, Ball could just leave as a free agent.
The other option is to undertake and compute a sign-and-trade, which is a smaller amount likely, as there are some financial complications and everybody involved has got to comply with it and needs it. There could be something to figure out with the Bulls and Lauri Markkanen, but that might require two sign-and-trades, which makes it less likely. The Celtics aren’t projected to possess enough cap space to sign Lonzo outright, so would believe a sign-and-trade to land him, but there’s an opportunity out there that creates sense. If the Pelicans don’t see Lonzo Ball as a part of their future plans, then they might attempt to sign-and-trade him in order that he doesn’t walk for anything.
The Pelicans can match any offer, so it’s possible they might sign Lonzo then trade him to his preferred destination but the opposite team would need to remit similar salaries to form it works. The Celtics have a man in Marcus Smart, who would get the most of the way there, and he’s a man who I’ve long liked as a fit the Pelicans. Smart may be a tough, hard-nosed defender who is one among the simplest on the perimeter within the entire NBA and may defend up also . Smart is, well, smart also, a high I.Q. the player who can fit into almost any lineup and would be a pleasant addition next to Zion Williamson.
He would even be cheaper than Ball at only $14.3 million for next season, the ultimate of his contract, which suggests no long-term commitment if things don’t compute . This would potentially leave the Pelicans some space to feature another guy, so Smart is a stimulating possibility. I still think it’s a long shot, but the Celtics are going to be a team to observe as representation kicks off.