New York Knicks: Why trading for Lonzo Ball makes sense

Jan 10, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball (2) controls the ball against New York Knicks point guard Elfrid Payton (6) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball (2) controls the ball against New York Knicks point guard Elfrid Payton (6) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

A New York Knicks trade for Lonzo Ball

Now that there’s an understanding of what Lonzo could bring the Knicks. It’s time to figure out how New York would get him here.

Kevin O’Connor noted that the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks have been in talks with New Orleans about Ball. Chicago has offered Thomas Satoransky and second-round picks, while Atlanta’s Cam Reddish has been discussed.

Granted, O’Connor mentioned that it appears the Pelicans are hesitant to trade Ball, it probably is in the Pelicans’ best interest to deal Ball before he becomes a restricted free agent this upcoming offseason. New Orleans could try to perform a sign and trade during the offseason, but the Pelicans would risk another team bidding higher than them for Ball’s services.

And it seems like the Pelicans are aware of the scenario because it was reported by Mike Mazzeo that the Knicks are trying to facilitate a three-team trade. That way, the Knicks can acquire Ball while helping New Orleans can move Bledsoe’s contract to clean their books.

So here is an idea on a deal that could work:

New York Knicks:

  • They would get Lonzo Ball of course. Duh.

LA Clippers:

  • The Clippers are reunited with Eric Bledsoe. He would help by bringing stability to the point guard position that they have been clamoring for since the beginning of this season. Bledsoe would probably have a similar role that he had on the Milwaukee Bucks. Yet, his shooting wouldn’t be as necessary because the Clippers are among the best scoring teams, even with Pat Beverly in the starting rotation.
  • The Clippers would also receive Elfrid Payton in the deal – if he waives his no-trade clause – because he could add value to the point guard depth that the Clippers would need for a playoff run. Payton has been somewhat serviceable on the Knicks, but he has been ineffective most nights on offense because he is only able to attack the rim, which is extremely redundant on the Knicks. The Knicks have too many players that operate in the paint and need more shooters. So having Payton on the Knicks just clogs the paint and doesn’t create floor spacing. However, on a team like LA, he’d fit right in because they have enough shooters to help Payton excel.

New Orleans Pelicans:

  • Kevin Knox is still on a rookie contract and has shown some flashes, which makes him an intriguing player to buy low on. He can play the small or power forward position and stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting. On top of that, if Knox figures out his game, playing him next to Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram could be a dangerous frontcourt with size, length, and ability to score in transition.
  • Patrick Beverly helps cover the point guard need that the Pelicans would have after trading both Bledsoe and Ball. He doesn’t bring the same skillsets as Bledsoe or Ball on the offensive end, but he would be an excellent stop-gap option while the Pelicans get Kira Lewis ready to take the helm.
  • Lou Williams would help by coming off the bench by playing as the combo guard he’s known to be. Williams would bring the scoring and a little facilitating off the bench, which the Pelicans could sure use.
  • And for the Knicks to beat out any other offer for Ball, the Knicks will need to offer a first-rounder. The Hawks could offer a first-rounder as well, but they probably don’t want to unless they know they can extend Ball for the foreseeable future (especially if Cam Reddish will be in the deal and still has potential in this league). As for the Bulls, they could offer a first-rounder as well, but it seems like they’re set on only dealing second-rounders with Satoransky.
  • If the situation arises where the Knicks need to provide another draft pick, they could, and it would most likely be a second-rounder. The Knicks have the Pistons 2021 and 2023 second-rounders to offer. By that point, it could be the double-draft, so it may be valuable to stock up on picks for then.


The Knicks are in a prime position to make an offer for Ball, and they probably should because he adds a dimension with his shooting and playmaking that is missing on this team. It’s understandable to have some concerns about paying him because he will probably cost around $80 million on a four-year deal. But unless the Knicks have another solution at point guard, meaning the draft, it may be too risky to give up on the opportunity to get Ball.

Even if the Knicks do draft a point guard that may be better than Ball, it will probably take time for that player to develop. So they could always trade Ball because a point guard of his caliber on $80 million will probably be the going rate for a guard of his skillset.

Next. Trade Deadline: 10 trades to shake up the season. dark