The Los Angeles Clippers are exploring ways to acquire New Orleans Pelicans PG Lonzo Ball, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Friday afternoon on the dawn of the NCAA Tournament. The Clippers have had issues at point guard with Patrick Beverley sidelined with injuries this season. Los Angeles lacks depth at the position with Lou Williams and Reggie Jackson more “score first” guards than distributors. The NBA Trade Deadline is this upcoming Thursday, March 25 at 3 p.m. ET.
The Clippers, with a well-chronicled need for a playmaking upgrade, are exploring trade routes to acquiring New Orleans' Lonzo Ball before next Thursday's NBA trade deadline, league sources say.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 19, 2021
Stein is also reporting that the snag in any deal for the Clippers is the lack of draft picks. So Stein believes that any deal for Ball to L.A. would have to involve a third team to get it done.
Through 38 games with the Pels, you could say Ball is having his best NBA season. His shooting splits have improved to 42/38/76 this season, which would all be career highs is the season ended today. Ball is averaging 14.2 points and 5.6 assists, though the assist numbers would look pretty good playing alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
This doesn’t feel like a deal that will really work out. The Pelicans don’t have much of a reason to ship off Ball right now, let alone to a team that can’t give them much in return. Even if you threw in a third team to get the Pelicans a first-rounder, NOLA is only 4.0 games off of the play-in tournament. It’s a tough call to buy or sell, but the Pels also didn’t bring in Stan Van Gundy to sell at the deadline and tank. Kira Lewis Jr. and Eric Bledsoe wouldn’t be a bad PG rotation, plus the team has Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who has a lot of scoring upside.