Knicks Mock Trade: Acquiring Lonzo Ball and a sharpshooter from the Pelicans

New York Knicks, Lonzo Ball
Mar 1, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) reacts to making a three point basket against Utah Jazz during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks could use a bit more firepower on offense, and with continued interest ahead of the March 27 trade deadline, a deal could occur at any moment. Head coach Tom Thibodeau likes his current squad, simply based on their incredible defensive prowess. The Knicks currently have the number one ranked defense in the NBA in points allowed per game with 104.9. Immediately behind them is the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

With good defense, the Knicks remain competitive in most contests, but their lack of offense has hurt them at times. Bringing in a few more solid pieces in that category could push them over the edge, especially against some playoff-caliber teams. The Knicks most recently lost two consecutive games to the Nets and 76ers, two playoff-bound squads. Losing by five points to the Nets and three points of the 76ers was disappointing, but it proved that New York has what it takes to remain competitive against winning teams.

Let’s take a look at a deal that would send Lonzo Ball and a sharpshooter to the Knicks, providing them with some support.

Mock trade between the Knicks and Pelicans, proposed by B/Rs Greg Swartz:

Knicks receive:

Lonzo Ball

JJ Redick

Pelicans Get:

Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina

Elfrid Payton

2021 first-round pick (via Dal)

2021 second-round pick (via Det)

This is an intriguing mock trade, as Ball is averaging 14.2 points over 31.7 minutes per game. He’s also averaging 5.6 assists, and 1.3 steals this season. He would immediately become the most offensively productive point guard on the team, with Derrick Rose close behind. The problem is, the Knicks will have to part with Frank Ntilikina, their defensive gem, who doesn’t offer much support on offense but is a solid backup who can hold a team’s top scorer down.

Loop in the first and second-round pick, plus Kevin Knox and Elfrid Payton, New York, walks away with Ball and JJ Redick, who is averaging just 8.7 points at 36 years old. He’s having a down season, but he has family in Brooklyn and would likely rejuvenate given a move to New York.
Personally, I’m not a fan of this trade, simply based on the fact that JJ Redick is far too old to rely on consistently, and Ball is only averaging 14.2 points per game. However, you can justify it based on Lonzo’s potential, since at 23 years old, he’s just scratching the surface of his abilities.
If the Knicks like Ball that much, this is a solid deal that nets them a point guard ready to take a big developmental jump. With great coaching, I believe they can unlock his potential, but they would have to give up a nice haul in the process.
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