Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball may be on the move at the trade deadline, a possibility that could be predicated on the fact that Ball is hoping to make around $20MM annually on his next deal, per Sam Amick of The Athletic. The 6’6″ UCLA alum, 23, is currently earning $11MM in the final season of his rookie deal, and will enter restricted free agency this summer.
Ball is enjoying the best scoring season of his career, averaging a career-high 14.2 PPG. He is connecting on a career-high 42.5% of a career-most 12.1 field goal looks a night, including a career-best 38.5% from long range on a career-most 7.8 three-point looks a night. His 76.7% free throw percentage is also leagues beyond his previous high of 56.6%, though the volume remains modest (1.1 attempts a night).
There’s more out of the Southwest Division:
- Mavericks point guard Tyrell Terry is not traveling with Dallas at present for personal reasons, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News tweets. “I don’t have any timetable for him being back,” head coach Rick Carlisle said of Terry. The rookie, who has appeared in 11 games for Dallas, has been sidelined from the team for the past seven contests.
- Though Pelicans swingman Sindarius Thornwell has run out of 10-day contracts with New Orleans, he may latch on with the club for the rest of the year as early as this Friday, depending on what trade deadline transactions transpire for the Pelicans by Thursday, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). The 6’4″ wing has appeared in 14 games for New Orleans this season.
- Grizzlies reserve center Gorgui Dieng, who has been out of the lineup for almost a month, seems more likely to be bought out than be traded due to his hefty $17.3MM expiring deal, per Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Though Dieng has some appeal as a lengthy stretch big man, connecting on a career-best 47.9% from long range this season, his salary may preclude a deal. The Grizzlies have prioritized rookie big man Xavier Tillman Sr., the No. 35 pick in the 2020 draft out of Michigan State, over Dieng in their rotation.