New Orleans Pelicans: Where David Griffin blew it in the Lonzo Ball saga

Lonzo Ball (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have had a very busy offseason so far and have largely been crucified in the national media for the moves they’ve made.

Zach Lowe called the Pels the “biggest losers” in free agency after failing to retain Lonzo Ball and being forced to sign-and-trade him to the Bulls for practically nothing.

This move looked even worse after what the Spurs were able to get for DeMar DeRozan, who is better but much older and a guy who the Spurs had zero leverage over.

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I am not upset that David Griffin chose not to pay Lonzo Ball $84 million, as Devonte’ Graham makes half that and might end up being a better fit anyway.

Not re-signing Lonzo Ball was the right move, but by that point, David Griffin had already blown it, and it cost the New Orleans Pelicans dearly.

New Orleans Pelicans: Why didn’t David Griffin trade Lonzo Ball at the deadline?

The news that Lonzo Ball was seeking upwards of $20 million in free agency was leaked so long ago that we all just assumed it was a given.

Teams like the Bulls and Knicks had cap space and were after Ball, something David Griffin absolutely knew at last season’s trade deadline.

If he knew that the  Pelicans didn’t want to pay Ball that much, then why not trade him at the deadline?

There were several teams after Ball who would have at least offered the New Orleans Pelicans an asset of similar value in a trade.

Instead, the Pels had to settle for a journeyman backup point guard in Garrett Temple and a decent bench player in Tomas Satoransky along with a second round pick.

Lonzo Ball undoubtedly would have garnered more in a trade at the deadline, so David Griffin really blew it by not trading him, especially when it seemed the Pels never had any interest in re-signing him.

Of all of Griffin’s blunders, this one is the most inexplicable, as those trades were sitting right there and the Pels were out of the playoff picture anyway.

David Griffin didn’t screw up by not re-signing Lonzo Ball, he screwed up by not trading him.

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