Pelicans: What to watch for vs. Lonzo Ball and the Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Tomas Satoransky
Tomas Satoransky #31 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans won’t have to wait long to see their old teammate Lonzo Ball, as he and the Chicago Bulls will be waiting in the Windy City for tonight’s preseason matchup.

The New Orleans Pelicans haven’t announced their lineups just yet, but we’ll probably have to wait until the regular season to see Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram face off against their friend and former teammate. Lonzo won’t recognize too many others, as the Pelicans have re-vamped their roster with a new starting lineup and bench.

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Ball was traded to the Bulls in a sign-and-trade after failing to come to a contract extension with the Pels, who balked at the high asking price.

I thought David Griffin blew it by not trading Lonzo Ball sooner, as everyone knew what his asking price was going to be and the Pels might have gotten a bigger return had they traded him at the deadline last season.

But that is now in the past and both franchises are keen to show that they made the right move in this trade.

It’s only preseason, but this could be the beginning of a rivalry between the Bulls and Pelicans, and no matter what the players say, there is always a little extra motivation when you are playing against a former team or teammates.

Here are three things that are going to be fun to watch.

New Orleans Pelicans: Garrett Temple and Tomas Satoransky vs. the Chicago Bulls

One of the narratives around the Lonzo Ball trade was that the Pels didn’t get much in return, as they only got journeymen veterans Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple to go with a future second-round pick.

Most people thought the Bulls should have had to give up a first for Lonzo (myself included) but Satoransky and Temple may prove themselves to be valuable veterans.

Satoransky was part of a very effective bench unit that the Pels will undoubtedly use more this season and Temple can provide a solid veteran presence off the bench.

All NBA players have big egos and these two can’t have liked hearing that they were the scraps of a lopsided trade. They will be eager to prove they are more than just throw-ins in a bad trade and I expect both to have a little extra bounce in their step against their former team.