Posts Tagged ‘Lonzo Ball’

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball will be sidelined for a minimum of four-to-six weeks after he undergoes an arthroscopic debridement on his left knee on Sept. 28.

Under the provided timeline, Ball would likely miss the start of the 2022-23 season, set to tip off in just under four weeks’ time on Oct. 18. If he returns in exactly six weeks, he’ll have missed Chicago’s first eight games of the campaign but could possibly play against his younger brother LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 2.

The 2017 second overall pick reportedly felt continued pain in his left knee while rehabbing in Los Angeles over the summer.

Ball has dealt with recurring issues in his left knee throughout his five-year career. As a rookie, he sprained his left MCL before undergoing surgery to repair the meniscus in the same joint the following summer. The Bulls shut Ball down last season in mid-January due to a meniscus tear after he played just 35 games – a career low. He underwent arthroscopic surgery following the injury and was initially expected to miss six-to-eight weeks but didn’t play again for the rest of the campaign.

The 24-year-old owns career averages of 11.9 points, 6.2 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals while shooting 36.4% from beyond the arc. Ball has improved from distance in every professional season, culminating with a 42.3% clip on 7.4 attempts from deep per game last campaign.

Lonzo Ball joined the Chicago Bulls in a sign-and-trade deal earlier this month, and the guard couldn’t be happier.

“(The Bulls) were the team that stood out that really wanted me for me,” Ball said Friday. “I wanted to go somewhere I’m appreciated and can play my game. Chicago is the perfect place for that.”

Ball’s addition gives the Bulls a much-needed pass-first point guard. His ability to push the tempo should bolster a Chicago offense that finished 25th in transition points per game.

The 2017 No. 2 pick made important strides over two seasons with the Pelicans. Ball posted career highs in points (14.6 per game) and 3-point shooting (37.8%) across 55 appearances in 2020-21.

Ball’s acquisition was just the first in a series of moves by the Bulls this summer. The club made a huge splash by landing four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan via sign-and-trade and inking former Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso to a four-year, $37-million deal.

“We’re an exciting team, I can see the future, and we’re a team that can go up and down and win basketball games,” Ball said. “At the end of the day, I’m happy to be a Bull.”

The Chicago Bulls and Lonzo Ball reached an agreement on a four-year, $85-million deal, Ball’s agent, Rich Paul, told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The move will be part of a sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, Paul told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Chicago will reportedly send guard Tomas Satoransky, veteran Garrett Temple, and a second-round pick to New Orleans in the trade.

Ball, a restricted free agent, was expected to receive substantial interest on the open market, with the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors reportedly joining the Bulls in their chase.

The former second overall pick averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals last season with the Pelicans in his fourth NBA season.

The Philadelphia 76ers appear to be assessing a wide variety of guards ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.

In addition to reportedly discussing separate deals for Toronto Raptors franchise star Kyle Lowry and breakout scorer Norman Powell, the Eastern Conference leaders have also broached potential trades for the New Orleans Pelicans‘ Lonzo Ball and Oklahoma City Thunder‘s George HillESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Ball, the second overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, has enjoyed modest improvement in Year 4 – even while his role has shrunk relative to the rise of teammates Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

The 23-year-old is scoring a career-best 14.2 points per game, largely a product of connecting on 38.5% of his nearly eight nightly 3-point attempts. Ball’s added 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in his 31.7 minutes per game.

Ball’s mixture of youth and promise of continued development could result in a nice payday this summer when he reaches restricted free agency. Entering a bidding war to retain his services might not suit the small-market Pelicans.

Hill is decidedly on the other end of the spectrum. The veteran point man will turn 35 in May and only has a partially guaranteed contract for next season, allowing his team to move on for the modest sum of $1.3 million in dead cap on the books.

Any playoff hopeful acquiring Hill would receive a veteran currently averaging 11.9 points and 3.1 assists in 26.4 minutes per game, and someone who has shot 40.2% on threes over the past six seasons. Hill has also logged 127 postseason appearances in his career.

The 76ers possess one of the more unique backcourt dynamics in the league. The 6-foot-10 Ben Simmons is a lethal transition scorer and on the short list for top wing defenders in the game today, but his limitations as a playmaker in the halfcourt offense – exacerbated by a complete lack of outside shooting touch – require creative scheming to stabilize Philadelphia’s offense.

In trading for Ball, Hill, or Raptors guards Kyle Lowry or Norman Powell, the 76ers would have the personnel to complement Simmons’ best qualities while mitigating some of his shortcomings.

The Los Angeles Clippers are considering New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball as a remedy for their playmaking shortcomings, sources told The New York Times’ Marc Stein.

Los Angeles doesn’t have a tradeable first-round pick, although it can swap its 2027 first-rounder. This means the club would likely need to construct a three-team deal to acquire Ball, Stein notes.

The Pelicans have previously contemplated shipping Ball before the March 25 deadline with an eye on affording more opportunities for young guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis.

Ball is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer.

The Clippers have a glaring need for playmaking. Tyronn Lue’s side currently ranks 19th in total passes and 24th in potential assists, per NBA.com tracking data.

Ball is posting a career-best 14.2 points per game this season, along with 4.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists, for the 17-24 Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans are considering the possibility of trading Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick after receiving interest from several unnamed teams, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.

New Orleans has reportedly displayed an openness in shipping the pair, especially with an eye on creating further opportunities for young guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis in Stan Van Gundy’s rotation.

The 5-10 Pelicans will continue with plans to build the team around star duo Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, Charania adds.

Ball, who’s in his fourth season, is set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason, which could prompt New Orleans’ potential desire to ship the point guard.

Veteran sharpshooter Redick could be on the wish list of playoff sides seeking reinforcements on the perimeter. The 36-year-old is averaging 20.5 minutes per game this season for the Pelicans, his lowest usage since 2008-09.

The Pelicans and Golden State Warriors have also reportedly discussed a deal for Kelly Oubre Jr., though Charania notes that talks are at a strictly preliminary stage.

Lonzo Ball isn’t afraid to critique his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The New Orleans Pelicans guard – selected second overall in the 2017 draft behind Markelle Fultz – admitted that while he wasn’t bothered by playing under the spotlight in his hometown, he was unable to live up to the hype with his first NBA franchise.

“Nah, that wasn’t too much pressure,” Ball told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “That’s what I was supposed to do. No. 2 pick, you’re supposed to do a job – you’re supposed to turn the franchise around. And I don’t think I did it to the best of my abilities. I didn’t live up to that standard. Now I’m here and I’m blessed to be here.

“These are two totally different situations. It didn’t go the way we wanted to the first year in L.A., then LeBron (James) came, all the injuries happened and that really messed up the second year.”

Ball’s potential out of college was well-touted – not the least by his father, LaVar – and the UCLA product made headlines after only his second game in the Association when he finished one assist shy of a 29-point triple-double. However, he struggled to replicate that kind of output consistently in his rookie season and missed significant time with shoulder and knee concerns.

Injuries then cost Ball 35 games of his sophomore 2018-19 season after a severe sprain also tore ligaments in his left ankle.

The Lakers sent him to the Pelicans this summer in a blockbuster swap to acquire Anthony Davis. Ball feels the move was necessary to progress his career.

“It was only a matter of time before a trade happened,” the 21-year-old said. “I pretty much knew a trade would happen. Any time you have a player like Anthony Davis available, I knew it was going to be my time. I was looking forward to it and I was excited for a new start. Getting out of L.A. for the first time in my life. I’m happy about it.

“It was just time for a change. I got hurt both years and didn’t do what I wanted to do. I was blessed to stay home and play in front of everybody, but it wasn’t working over there.”

The Pelicans host the Lakers on Nov. 27.

Weeks after saying he had to change his Big Baller Brand ZO2 sneakers during every quarter of summer league in 2017 because they kept breaking, Lonzo Ball has further distanced himself from his father LaVar’s apparel brand.

“What makes it easier is I’m controlling everything now,” Ball told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on “The Woj Pod.” “You really can’t tell me what to do. It’s my life, my career. I’m making all the decisions now. I chose to go to (Creative Artists Agency). I think me becoming my own man is going to make it easier, honestly.”

The freshly-minted New Orleans Pelicans point guard says that doesn’t mean he’s had a falling out with his father. 

“I’m growing up. He has his ways, I have mine. We just got into it,” Ball said of a tense exchange on the “Ball in the Family” Facebook show. “That’s what fathers and sons do as time goes on. At the end of the day, it’s always love at the end. I know he loves me, I love him.”

Ball hasn’t signed a new shoe deal with another brand, but he said that his younger brother LaMelo – currently projected as a top-5 pick in next June’s NBA draft – will be able to play the endorsement market unlike he was able to. 

“He gets to go through the real, actual process,” Ball said of his brother, currently playing in Australia. “When I was coming out, we were just working on my shoe, Big Baller Brand, that’s just what it was. I didn’t take any meetings. It was already kind of set for me.”

It’s been suggested that Lonzo cost himself upwards of $10 million by not signing with a major apparel maker coming out of UCLA in 2017.

“I tell him all the time, this is going to be your decision,” he said of LaMelo. “Go talk to Adidas. Go talk to Nike. Go talk to Puma. Go talk to everybody. Take every meeting. Whoever wants you the most, go with them. I told him, make sure you take control of your career now. Don’t wait like I did.”

Ball enters his first year in New Orleans coming off a severe ankle sprain that knocked him out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ last 35 games in 2018-19.

Former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball learned of his offseason trade to the New Orleans Pelicans the same way most fans heard about the news.

“I found out on Twitter,” Ball told REAL 92.3 LA’s Big Boy. “We was in the car. We had just left my grandfather’s house, on the way to (La)Melo’s Drew League game.”

Though reports of the agreement broke in late June, Ball was officially dealt to the Pelicans on July 6 alongside Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and a number of future draft considerations in exchange for perennial All-Star big man Anthony Davis.

Still, it’s not as if the move caught the 21-year-old off guard.

“I kind of knew I was going to get traded,” Ball admitted.

“I’d just been in the trade talks for so long. And then, it’s Anthony Davis. L.A. is going to do what they gotta do to get superstars.”

Lonzo Ball knew his name was being floated around in trade discussions for Anthony Davis.

So when Ball learned that he was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans, the former UCLA Star was more than prepared for the news.

“I was kind of excited, honestly,” Ball told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I kind of figured someone was going to get moved soon enough. I knew Anthony Davis wanted to come bad. Anytime you can get a guy like that, you are going to have to do what you have to do to get him.

“So I was kind of already just waiting for it, honestly, and I was happy to go with two guys I am comfortable with in B.I. (Brandon Ingram) and JHart (Josh Hart). I am excited to see what we can do.”

California is virtually all that Ball has ever known. He was born in Anaheim, played his high school basketball at nearby Chino Hills, went to college at UCLA, and was drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017.

But Ball isn’t upset that he’s leaving home and is thankful to have been traded a couple of years into his NBA career rather than earlier on.

“I tell people when I was a rookie, I probably would have been sad,” Ball said. “Just being from L.A., having my whole family here and wanting to be a Laker. But being in the league for two years, knowing it’s a business, as long you get to play, that’s a blessing in itself.”

Ball had an up-and-down two years with the Lakers, during which he averaged 10 points, 6.4 assists, 6.2 boards, and 1.6 steals per contest across 99 appearances.

Injuries have limited Ball’s ability to stay on the court and he’s struggled with his shot, connecting on 38 percent of attempts from the field – including a 31.5 percent mark from distance.

However, Ball is still just 21 and has shown promise defensively with his size and wingspan.