Lonzo Ball is one of the NBA’s top free agents that will hit the open market this offseason. Though he’s unlikely to garner a max contract, a new report indicates teams will have to spend big money to acquire the former UCLA star.
Ball will be a restricted free agent, meaning the New Orleans Pelicans will have the opportunity to match any offers Ball receives. They are reportedly unlikely to do so if the former No. 2 overall pick gets big money in the open market.
Per a report from John Hollinger of The Athletic, Ball could end up receiving offers in the four-year, $100 million range. That could essentially end up eliminating teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, who are reportedly interested in Ball, but are strapped for cash this offseason.
“Teams are likely to pump the brakes well short of a max contract on Ball. Something in the range of four years and $100 million seems a more likely ceiling given the offensive concerns; that’s already spendy for somebody who can be the third-best player on a good team but probably no more than that,” Holling wrote via The Athletic.
6. Duncan Robinson
7. Lonzo Ball
8. Danny Green
9. Devonte’ Graham
10. Richaun Holmes@johnhollinger ranks the Top 20 potential free agents and projects the value of each.
Who do you want your team to sign this summer?https://t.co/VTYkEmWOJ4
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) July 15, 2021
It seems inevitable Lonzo Ball is playing for a new team by the time the 2021-22 season commences. The Pelicans shopped him during last season’s trade deadline, but never made a move.
In the event Ball is available in coming weeks, plenty of teams are expected to be in the mix. The Lakers are one of those teams, but money is an obstacle.
It’s probably more likely Ball returns to the Pelicans than signs with the Lakers this offseason. But that’s not to suggest New Orleans is the favorite in the Ball sweepstakes.