Lonzo Ball against LaVar’s trade wish with Knicks, others lurking
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The Knicks’ best shot at young point guard Lonzo Ball still appears to be restricted free agency and not at Thursday’s trade deadline.
In the wake of father LaVar Ball saying recently he’d like to see the Pelicans trade his son, the Pelicans reportedly received offers from the Bulls and Hawks for the playmaking point guard.
Indeed, the Bulls and Hawks have cap space this summer and could be in competition against the Knicks for Ball even if they don’t swing a deal this week for the former UCLA star.
According to The Ringer, the Pelicans are seeking at least one lottery pick. The Hawks offered a package centered on 2019 lottery pick Cam Reddish. The Bulls offered Tomas Satoranasky and multiple second-round picks.
Despite LaVar’s bold remarks on Los Angeles radio, The Post has learned Lonzo doesn’t feel the same way about being dealt Thursday. The Pelicans have had a disappointing season — 18-24, in 11th place in the West.
However, Ball’s preference is to fight for a playoff berth with New Orleans and put his focus on his first free agency, one NBA source said.
The Post reported last week Ball would have the Knicks high on his free-agent radar. As far as putting together a package now for Ball, league sources believes the Knicks would tend to be reluctant knowing they can have Ball for free this summer.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau hinted Saturday his reluctance to give up too many future assets at the deadline, saying, “It’s important for us to go step-by-step and not skip over things.’’
The Pelicans could also work a sign-and-trade this summer and get back assets, giving them no sense of urgency. The Pelicans historically are concerned about luxury-tax implications.
The Knicks feel they need a playmaking point guard for the future and Ball is high on president Leon Rose’s list. The No. 2 pick of the 2017 draft has put together his best season — averaging 14.2 points on 38.5 percent shooting from 3 with 5.6 assists while being a credible defender.
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