Could the Los Angeles Lakers reunite with Lonzo Ball?

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

New Orleans Pelicans side of the deal

So the New Orleans Pelicans lose a trade piece in Lonzo Ball. What exactly are they getting back?

Concerning the Los Angeles Lakers offer, the Pelicans are maybe getting 75cents on the dollar for Lonzo, an argument could be made for 60, but with Lonzo capable of getting an extension in the Summer of 2021 and a free agent in 2022, while costing the Pelicans $11m in 2020-21 season and $14.3m in the 2021-22 season, the price might be too rich for their blood long term.

In exchange for Lonzo, the New Orleans Pelicans get two solid role players and a late 1st round pick. Not the best haul for a former second overall pick but potentially enough to add perfect depth to their roster.

In Alex Caruso, you get a wonderful role player who is much more than a meme.

Caruso has proven this season that he is a legit talent. While he is somewhat limited in terms of his natural ability, few players in the league will inject more energy and more effort into a game than Alex Caruso.

Caruso for the Pelicans would offer an instant injection off the bench and a dogged defender who is always a net positive on the floor in terms of Plus-Minus. With Josh Hart and Alex Caruso, the Pelicans would have an incredible bench duo who is capable of locking down opposing guards.

In JaVale McGee, the Pelicans would be getting a veteran with championship experience on an extremely team-friendly amount to replace Derrick Favors bloated salary. With experience in both the starting line-up and bench, McGee gives New Orleans a locker room glue guy as well as a willing mentor for young players such as Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes.

His willingness to come off the bench to allow the two current rookies to develop could be invaluable for the Pelicans long term.

The 28th overall pick would be to seal the deal, they could take a chance on another uber-athlete from Duke in the form of Cassius Stanley. A player who is raw but is capable of bouncing out of the gym on any given play.

With the 13th overall pick, they could land Lonzo’s long term replacement in Cole Anthony who was once considered the best player in the draft but who is tumbling down draft boards.

With Caruso and McGee’s expiring contracts, this gives the Pelicans a little bit of wiggle room to improve the roster in 2021 with Darius Miller, JJ Reddick, and Nicolo Melli also coming off the books.

Landing Cassius Stanley and Cole Anthony for less money per year than Lonzo make in 2020 further allows the Pelicans to save a few million.

While the Pelicans may have had strong ideas for Lonzo, this gives them a long term solution for a potential problem coming up the pipeline in Lonzo’s extension.