Two new teams have emerged as potential candidates to pursue restricted free agent Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball. Shams Charania of Stadium reports (Twitter video link) that the Celtics and the Raptors are interested in adding Ball’s services this summer.
The Ball addition could make sense for either Eastern Conference club, as both teams may be looking for major help at the lead guard position. The Celtics, of course, recently moved off the pricey contract of injury-prone veteran starting point guard Kemba Walker. The Raptors, meanwhile, may lose veteran starting point guard Kyle Lowry to a contender in free agency. The Pelicans have been mentioned as a potential Lowry destination.
Charania predicts a robust market for Ball, with a potential multiyear contract in the range of $21-$22MM annually. Charania mentions that the Bulls continue to show interest in Ball. Chicago has been in the market for a major point guard upgrade over incumbent starter Coby White, and have been intrigued by Ball for a while.
Charania also adds the Pacers as a possible Ball suitor, though that may depend on some of the other moves Indiana makes this offseason.
Given that Ball is a restricted free agent, aligns well with the timelines of All-Star power forward Zion Williamson and 2020 All-Star Brandon Ingram, and showed marked improvement as a shooter this season, New Orleans would be wise to consider matching any offer sheet tendered to him and keeping him ahead of the 2021/22 season. However, it sounds like the team is hoping to land a veteran point guard instead.