New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball could be the best 3-and-D player in NBA

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Lonzo Ball was asked to take on a new role for the New Orleans Pelicans and has so far made the most of it.

A lot has been made of Lonzo Ball playing more off the ball this season, and some of his most ardent fans are not happy about it, as they think Lonzo’s skills are being wasted on such a role.

He came into the league as a pass-first point guard, a guy whose size and slick passing drew early comparisons to Magic Johnson.

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I doubt anyone, including Lonzo Ball himself, could have seen this coming.

Lonzo has transformed into a playmaking hybrid who can defend and shoot, or as some like to call it, a 3-and-D wing. I don’t view Lonzo as a traditional wing, as he is still an amazing passer who is averaging 5.2 assists per game.

If Lonzo is to be judged vs. “wings” then he would be 4th in the NBA in assists from that position.

The truth is that he is a hybrid 3-and-D player who can do a lot of different things, but what is really setting him apart is his 3-point shooting, which has gone from “awful” to “elite.”

New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball’s 3-point shooting

Lonzo Ball is currently shooting 43.3 percent on 7.7 attempts from the 3-point line, numbers that place him among the best 3-point shooters in the NBA.

In fact, there are only seven players in the entire league who average at least seven attempts and shoot over 41 percent from behind the arc.

If you look more closely, only one of them, Paul George, could be considered a good defender, so Lonzo Ball has an argument that he is the second-best 3-and-D player in the entire NBA.

Considering Lonzo is only 23-years-old, there is a good chance he will be the best 3-and-D player in the NBA at some point in his career if he maintains this level of shooting and keeps improving on the defensive end.

This makes him the perfect type of player to put around Zion Williamson, and the Pels need more of these guys, which is why trading Lonzo Ball before the deadline would be crazy unless there was a proven elite wing defender coming back in return.

The New Orleans Pelicans appear to have the third piece of their Big 3 and should be looking for players who complement them.

Lonzo Ball is a unique player who is hard to categorize because he does just about everything well and as long as he keeps up the shooting, he will continue to be one of the best 3-and-D players in the league whether you want to call him a point guard or a wing.

Next. Trade or keep? Where each Pelican fits at the deadline. dark