Report: Knicks could make series push for Lonzo Ball in free agency

New York Knicks, Lonzo Ball
Feb 21, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) looks to pass the ball against Boston Celtics during the first half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

While the New York Knicks are preparing to take on the Atlanta Hawks in the first series of their postseason quest, free agency rumors are still bubbling to the surface. At the trade deadline, the Knicks were connected to a variety of players, ranging from Victor Oladipo to Lonzo Ball. However, their interest in Ball remains a constant, as they desperately need more assistance at point guard, and acquiring Ball while also retaining veteran Derrick Rose could be a solution to their problems.

Having a quality mentor like Rose for Lonzo would not only help him develop quicker but also allow the Knicks to retain one of their most important players this season. Rose is currently in the final year of a two-year, $15 million deal, so he likely won’t be cheap but not overpriced. He is averaging an impressive 14.9 points per game with the Knicks at 32 years old, shooting .487 from the field and .411 from three-point, the best success rate in his entire career.

In fact, I would argue that keeping Rose should be a priority for New York, even if they splash the cash for Lonzo Ball. Ball is having himself his best year to date, averaging 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. He has solid vision and spreads the ball effectively but is also capable of scoring, shooting .414 from the field and .378 from behind the arc. He has a bit of room to grow from three-point land, averaging 8.3 attempts per game.

“I think Lonzo will get a pretty good number whether it’s Chicago or New York or some other places,” via Adrian Wojnarowski on the Woj & Lowe Podcast.

Ball will command solid money, nonetheless, as he’s only 23 years old and represents a budding player in the NBA. He’s capable of playing solid basketball on the defensive side but also has unlimited potential offensively. He has good court vision, solid athleticism, and the desire to be coached, which is something that head coach Tom Thibodeau loves in his players.

A point guard duo of Rose and Ball would certainly be an upgrade, and the Knicks would gladly move on from Elfrid Payton for this pairing.