New Orleans Pelicans: Four trades that would send Lonzo Ball to the Clippers

Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly interested in trading with the New Orleans Pelicans for Lonzo Ball, but can the Clippers actually get a deal done?

With under one week to go until the NBA’s trade deadline, Ball’s future appears to be the most pertinent pending matter for the Pels. Ball will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after failing to come to terms on a new deal with New Orleans last year, but his play this season indicates that the Pels might be regretting that.

Ball has been the Pelicans’ third-best performer all season long. He took a little bit of time to adjust to Stan Van Gundy’s demands, but the former UCLA guard has flourished in his new role—even if his father LaVar doesn’t like it.

Ball is essentially a 3-and-D point guard right now, taking almost eight threes per game at nearly a 39 percent clip. Over 60 percent of Ball’s shots come from beyond the arc. His playmaking prowess remains evident, even though he is used off the ball more than in previous seasons. In particular, Ball’s half-court creation has taken a step forward and he is no longer as reliant on transition opportunities.

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The Clippers, currently fourth in the western conference, could use a boost at the point guard position for the second half of the season. Ball would be an overall upgrade on the likes of Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Terance Mann, and Reggie Jackson.

But can the Clippers actually trade for Ball? The answer is complicated, but an outright two-team trade appears complicated at this juncture. Both teams are in precarious financial situations and the basketball pieces don’t add up either.

If the Pelicans and the Clippers want to put together a deal before March 25, then some inventiveness will be necessary. Other teams would likely have to get involved, opening up a bevy of possibilities that New Orleans would do well to make use of if they don’t want to hold on to Ball.