The New Orleans Pelicans now have 3 options with Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans did not trade Lonzo Ball, which was not completely surprising.

I predicted this trade deadline would be a quiet one for the Pelicans for several reasons, mostly that the market for Eric Bledsoe never developed and that the Pels weren’t going to accept a lowball offer for Lonzo Ball.

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Every team from the Bulls to the Clippers were rumored to have interest in Ball, but the Pelicans never gave any indication that they came close to trading him.

Lonzo Ball will be a Pelican for the rest of the season, but what will happen when the season is over?

Not re-signing Lonzo in the offseason and then failing to trade him carries some risk, as he is a restricted free agent, but the Pels still have options.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans can re-sign Lonzo Ball

The most obvious option is just to re-sign Lonzo Ball to a max, or near-max deal at the end of the season.

The Pels hold Lonzo’s Bird Rights, so they can offer one more year than any other suitor, which will give them some advantage in the market for his services.

The Pelicans must have some idea of what it will take to retain him and must be comfortable with that number, otherwise we almost certainly would have seen him traded before the deadline.

Is Lonzo Ball worth $20 million a season? That is likely what it is going to take to retain him because some team like the Bulls is going to come with a big poison-pill offer that the Pels will have to match.

The New Orleans Pelicans will be in the driver’s seat when it comes to re-signing Lonzo Ball but they still have some other options if the two sides cannot come to an agreement on a contract.