Lonzo Ball is the player a majority of New York Knicks fans will accept as their starting point-guard with their eyes closed. The Knicks were thoroughly outclassed in their NBA Eastern Conference round 1 series against Trae Young’s Atlanta Hawks. Young himself was the chief destructor, averaging close to 30 points per game and virtually scoring at will through large parts of the series.
The New York Knicks will be happy with their season considering their young core. A couple of new acquisitions might as well enable them to potentially make a deep run in the NBA playoffs next season.
5 reasons the New York Knicks should go in for Lonzo Ball during the 2021 NBA off-season
Lonzo Ball had a highly successful NBA 2020-21 season despite the New Orleans Pelicans not being able to make it to the playoffs. Injuries late in the season to both Lonzo Ball and Zion Williamson meant that the Pelicans finished the regular season with a 2-6 record and finished 11th in the Eastern Conference. Regardless, in this article, we look at the five reasons why the New York Knicks should acquire Lonzo Ball in the coming offseason.
#1 Lonzo Ball is a future All-Star
First things first, the 23-year old Lonzo ball is a future All-Star that the New York Knicks need and can afford. Ball’s improvement in three-point shooting over the last two seasons has been nothing short of extraordinary, and he still looks some way away from hitting his ceiling.
The New York Knicks stuck with injury-prone Derrick Rose as their starting PG for much of the season. Although he showed flashes of brilliance throughout the season, bringing in Lonzo Ball means they will have two young PGs capable of developing into superstars in the form of Immanuel Quickley and Ball.
#2 The New York Knicks need a starting PG
Bringing in Lonzo Ball not only ensures immediate improvement for the New York Knicks’ roster, but also effectively sorts out the PG position for the long term. Ball is an upgrade on the likes of Quickley and Rose, who might as well stay with the Knicks considering his ability to impact games from the bench.
Additionally, Lonzo Ball’s acquisition will mean adding scoring and playmaking. He might as well be the best perimeter defender that the New York Knicks have in their roster next season. Ball’s acquisition will mean better depth for the New York Knicks and will allow them to manage through roster injuries, something that had a considerable effect on their season this time around.
#3 Lonzo Ball will be a free agent
In a highly-surprising move, Lonzo Ball was not re-singed by the New Orleans Pelicans, which means that he will be entering restricted free agency at the end of the season. Considering the New York Knicks have around $50 million in cap space for the offseason, they can easily outbid the Pelicans and potential suitors in order to acquire Lonzo.
Of course, a potential sign-and-trade might end up being the preferred option, as the New York Knicks have in Mitchell Robinson an asset who can be used to bring Ball the other way. A potential trade sending the likes of Lonzo Ball and Jaxson Hayes has been talked about, which might as well prove to be the preferred option for the Knicks. Regardless, they are capable of affording Lonzo Ball without having to move too many assets, and therefore should go in for him in the offseason.
#4 Lonzo Ball is a top defender
The New York Knicks lack perimeter defenders on their roster, and while Lonzo Ball will not single-handedly solve the problem, he is a step in the right direction. Trae Young’s impact in round 1 of their playoff series was in part due to a lack of perimeter defense, and Ball is already a top-class defender who will only improve.
Lonzo Ball is versatile, regularly guarded the opposition’s best players for the Pelicans this season, and should further improve his defensive numbers over the coming seasons. Of course, Lonzo Ball’s numbers are hardly average as of now as well. He registered 4.2 defensive rebounds, 1.5 steals and .6 blocks per game, and looks well on his way to becoming a candidate for the All-Star team next year.
#5 Lonzo Ball adds playmaking
Lonzo Ball is a premier playmaker who is only 23 years old. The New York Knicks looked ordinary offensively for much of the season in the absence of Julius Randle, who himself produced 24.1 points and six assists per game.
The Knicks have a young core with RJ Barrett and Julius Randle leading the line, and Lonzo Ball might as well prove to be the best playmaker in the squad if he makes his way to the Knicks. Ball averaged 5.7 assists for the New Orleans Pelicans this season and should find a back-court partnership with RJ Barrett highly fruitful. The New York Knicks are a team in the ascendancy, and adding Lonzo Ball appears to make sense on all fronts for the franchise.