Pelicans reportedly decline to extend Lonzo Ball: PG will become restricted free agent next summer
The New Orleans Pelicans and point guard Lonzo Ball could not reach an agreement on the extension of his rookie contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN.
The fourth year point guard will become a restricted free agent next summer. Wojnarowski, who spoke to Ball's agent Rich Paul, said the two sides "stay positive" that they can eventually reach an agreement. The Pelicans reserve the right to comply with any offer that Ball receives in the free agency.
The Pelicans acquired ball from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the Anthony Davis deal last off season. In 63 games, Ball averaged 11.8 points, seven assists and 6.1 rebounds. The shootout that has plagued the former number 2 since joining the NBA in 2017 continued in New Orleans.
Lonzo Ball will be a restricted free agent for the next off-season. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy)
Ball continues to fight as a shooter
Ball shot 40.3 percent from the field and 56.6 percent from the free-throw line in his first season with the Pelicans. He showed improvement from a distance, hitting 37.5 percent of his 3-point attempts after shooting 32.9 percent behind the bow last season with the Lakers.
The pelicans are in the middle of rebuilding around the young stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. They traded Jrue Hoiliday for a package with Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and three first-round draft picks for the Milwaukee Bucks in the off-season. They are also entering their first season under new head coach Stan Van Gundy.
With a core of young talent and a supply of design capital, the Pelicans seem more comfortable giving Ball a year with Van Gundy before signing up for him on a long-term basis.
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