According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Lonzo Ball has agreed to a four-year $85 million deal with the Chicago Bulls as a part of a sign-and-trade. The Pelicans in return get Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, and a second-round pick.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
It was rumored the Chicago franchise would be aggressive in free agency to find their point guard of the future. It appears they believe Ball will be that guy.
Chicago Bulls Land Lonzo Ball In A Sign-And-Trade
Chicago Bulls Land Lonzo Ball In Free Agency
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists but saw good improvements in his shooting percentages. The 23-year-old had career highs in field-goal (41.4), three-point (37.8), and free throw percentage (78.1), establishing himself as a solid complementary scorer.
The New Orleans Pelicans are in a tough spot. Franchise stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram publically voiced their desire to make the post-season creating a sense of urgency within the organization. New Orleans does not want a repeat of the Anthony Davis saga thus pressure is mounting in The Big Easy.
For Chicago, this is a great moment for a franchise desperately seeking stability at the point guard position. The last time the Bulls had a steady hand at the one spot was when they had Rajon Rondo during the 2016-17 season. Ball brings fire, tenacity, a unique passing skill set, and a defensive mindset to a team that desperately needs it.
Pressure Building on General Manager David Griffin
Since taking over the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, Griffin made some strong early moves to start his tenure with a bang. He selected Williamson and Jaxson Hayes in the 2019 draft before sending Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee for two unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps.
However, Griffin made two major mistakes that set the team back.
He acquired Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams to provide a defensive focus. However, the Pelicans ranked 28th in defensive rating last season and couldn’t stay in front of a parked car. Consequently, the pair were traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas.
His second mistake came hiring veteran coach Stan Van Gundy. The 61-year-old failed to earn the trust of his younger players, leading them to a disappointing 31-41 season. Van Gundy was fired after just one season.
Ball was a restricted free agent and the Pelicans chose not to match the Bulls’ offer. There’s more pressure for Griffin now to make the right moves during the offseason to improve this team. So far, they’ve landed a couple of veteran players and another draft pick. According to David Aldridge of The Athletic, Temple will head to New Orleans on a three-year deal with the first two years of his contract guaranteed. He was originally set to be a free agent during this offseason.
Per source, veteran guard Garrett Temple will be going to the New Orleans Hornets on a three-year deal, with first two years guaranteed at $5 million per.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) August 2, 2021
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