Rumors: New York Knicks targeting Lonzo Ball in potential trade

New York Knicks, Lonzo Ball
Mar 4, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) reacts after scoring during the second quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have started the 2021 season in inspiring fashion, currently sitting with a 7-8 record, good for 4th in the Atlantic Division. While they lost five consecutive games just over a week ago, they have won back to back games against the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, showing stellar defense and holding both teams to under 85 points.

Thanks to incredible performances by Julius Randle, who is averaging 22.8 points per game, and the elevation of RJ Barrett in his second year, who is averaging 17.1 points per game, the Knicks have managed to escape a few close victories. Against the Magic, they blew a significant lead in the fourth quarter, just barely edging out the game in the waning moments.

Nonetheless, the Knicks are playing superior basketball thanks to new head coach Tom Thibodeau, who focuses on aggressive defense and hitting open shots. While the team is playing well at times, they still have a significant weakness at point guard, a position they refuse to address with a high pick or free-agent signing. It is also possible elite level players don’t want to come to the Knicks, based on their recent performances. They were forced to stick with Elfrid Payton for another season on a one-year, $5 million deal.

They did land Immanuel Quickley with the 25th overall selection in the 2021 NBA draft, but he is still developing and might be a better shooting guard than point guard. That is why the Knicks could target Lonzo Ball as a potential trade option.

Reports have indicated that the Knicks are interested in acquiring Ball, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound point guard who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. At just 23 years old, he is still extremely fresh and has tons of potential. He’s currently averaging 11.9 points over 32.4 minutes, and while his shooting is a bit erratic at times, he can play solid defense and, with the right coaching, could end up being a stud with New York.

Players with raw talent simply need stellar coaching, and being moved from the Los Angeles Lakers, where the expectations were high, to the Pelicans, his confidence may be lacking.

What it would take for the Knicks to acquire him is a mystery, but he wouldn’t be a cheap acquisition by any means.