Plenty of players were on the move in the NBA last week as the league reached its annual trade deadline. However, not every rumor turned out to be true. Despite numerous whispers, Lonzo Ball will remain with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans opted to hold onto the 23-year-old point guard past Thursday’s deadline, despite reports that he might be headed for a contender. Ball is in the midst of the best season of his career, averaging 14.2 points, 5.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Even with his impressive year, as well as the steady play from other young stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans are 20-25, firmly out of the playoff picture. It also seems like New Orleans might have trouble keeping its young, talented core together.
According to a report from Evan Massey, Ball would still prefer to get out of New Orleans. Instead, he remains set on fulfilling his dream of playing for the New York Knicks or the Chicago Bulls.
“Lonzo enjoys playing for the Pelicans but isn’t a fan of New Orleans,” Massey tweeted on Sunday after speaking with an anonymous agent. “However, he really wants to end up with the #Knicks or #Bulls. That has been a dream of his. It’s likely he will try to leave this offseason.”
Spoke to an agent on Lonzo Ball and his future with #Pelicans.
“Lonzo enjoys playing for the Pelicans but isn’t a fan of New Orleans. However, he really wants to end up with the #Knicks or #Bulls. That has been a dream of his. It’s likely he will try to leave this offseason.”
— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) March 28, 2021
Interestingly enough, the report from Massey provide more depth to comments that Lonzo’s father, LaVar, made earlier this month. When speaking about the Pelicans decisions around the trade deadline, LaVar claimed that Lonzo couldn’t stand New Orleans.
“I don’t know what they’re gonna do, but I hope he gets traded,” LaVar said about Lonzo. “I don’t like watching him play like he plays…He can’t stand New Orleans, come on man.”
Regardless of Lonzo’s wishes, he’ll remain with the Pelicans through the end of the year. At that point, at the end of his rookie deal, he should be able to pursue other options.