Point guard Lonzo Ball is likely hitting free agency this offseason, and could wind up with pretty significant offers. Even so, the New Orleans Pelicans have made the qualifying offer to the former No. 2 pick.
ESPN’s Andrew Lopez reports that the team has extended qualifying offers to Ball and Josh Hart, both of whom came from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Anthony Davis deal. According to Bobby Marks, the qualifying offer for Ball is at $14.3 million for 2021-22, while Hart’s is valued at $5.2 million.
It seems unlikely that Ball signs his. Earlier this month, John Hollinger of The Athletic estimated that he could receive offers in the four-year, $100 million range. The fact that the Los Angeles Lakers, Ball’s former team who reportedly had interest in bringing him back, could be out of the running might hurt his market a bit, though it was unlikely that they could afford him at that number anyway. They just made a huge trade for Russell Westbrook ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft.
The Pelicans will have the right to match any offer sheets that Ball receives if he doesn’t take the one-year qualifying offer. Most figure he’s on his way out though.
Lonzo Ball- $14,359,936
Josh Hart- $5,236,739 https://t.co/XUcu7Q4tR5
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 31, 2021
Lonzo Ball, still only 23, is coming off of his best NBA season. In 55 games with the Pels, he averaged a career high 14.6 points, with 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
His shooting slash line of .414/.378/.781 were all career highs, as was his effective field goal percentage of .537. He may not develop into a superstar, but he’s a very useful player should carve out a long, productive NBA career.
In the coming weeks, we’ll see how much teams actually value the oldest Ball Brother.