Most would say Lonzo Ball is likely a bust up until now. Although he can get you over 10 points 5 rebounds and 5 assists a game with good defense in the eyes of many he is
considered a bust. He was my favorite player coming out of UCLA and I saw him carry that team to a winning record and he was a joy to watch. His unorthodox form on his jumper was heavily criticized and looked at as a shot that will be easily blocked at the NBA level.
Leading into this season Lonzo Ball made some tweaks to his form and the results have been good. His shot is a bit more consistent and I believe he would be a good acquisition by the New York Knicks. The Knicks still have a shot at the playoffs and have been playing very well under Interim Head Coach Mike Miller who has the team playing with an identity something they found themselves looking for under David Fizdale who was dismissed of his duties. The Knicks have 3 point guards in Ntilikina,Smith Jr, and Payton all who in my opinion pale in comparison to Lonzo Ball as an all-around basketball player.
We heavily criticize Ben Simmons as well for his reluctance to shoot the ball but don’t look at the many other ways he effects the game with his on and off-ball defense,rebounding, and facilitating the game for his teammates who aren’t the best shot creators. Welp Lonzo Ball can rebound,run an offense,has exceptional court-vision, and he actually looks to shoot the long ball and gets up 5-6 3’s a game. I saw him play last night in their win against the Timberwolves and I came away somewhat impressed by Lonzo Ball’s ability to push the pace.
Back to the Knicks though who look like a team that needs a floor general, Frank Ntilikina is not that neither is Dennis Smith Jr who struggles with play-making and shooting efficiently. Elfryd Payton has been solid under Mike Miller but he is already 25 and from the looks of it probably not someone the Knicks should build around long-term. Most would say bringing over Lonzo Ball would increase the likelihood of the Knicks drafting his brother LaMelo Ball this coming draft but what happens to RJ Barrett in that case? Does he move to the 3?
Not sure if the Pelicans would want Kevin Knox and a draft pick, how would Kevin Knox fit in with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson both who should be starting at the position Kevin Knox plays? As far as Lonzo Ball’s fit with the Knicks I think it would be a great idea because it’s either the Pelicans choose between Jrue Holiday or Lonzo Ball to run with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Ingram and Zion will need the ball in their hands to be effective so a more traditional point guard would fit in with those two which is Lonzo Ball but it seems like Lonzo Ball is not fitting in so far in New Orleans.
Alvin Gentry’s benching of Lonzo Ball caught some by surprise but Alvin looks at it as a way of getting Lonzo Ball to get the second unit going throughout games. I could see a big 4 of Lonzo-LaMelo-Ingram-Zion but no one knows the Pelicans’ stance on Jrue Holiday? How does he fit in long-term because he has 2 years left on his contract before he becomes a free-agent and he is pushing 30 so the Pelicans will have to make some decisions soon. And just to touch on the Knicks, we await the Knicks decision on a new head coach but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Knicks stick it out with Mike Miller the rest of the way and see how the season shakes out.
The Knicks have been in the doldrums the past 20 years, the Garden has not been rocking since the Marcus Camby,Allan Houston, and Latrell Sprewell days. Those were the days, I grew up watching every Knick game religiously just to watch Allan Houston suit up and knock down jumpers all night. Lonzo Ball is only 22 years old, he’s a father and has taken control of his life more importantly. His father is a big reason why most look at him as a bust because of all the media hype he received due to his outspoken father who is the furthest thing from dull.
I love RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, those would be the two untouchable pieces for me on the Knicks. Pairing those two with an unselfish point guard like Lonzo Ball who can create easier shots for them on fast breaks and half court sets would take the Knicks to the next level. Defensively he would bring defense to the backcourt like Mark Jackson and John Starks did in their primes. By no means am I saying Lonzo Ball will have the same impact those two former Knick legends had but he has the potential and a heck of a story behind him. He has not got a fair chance in New Orleans, neither in LA alongside LeBron James.
I personally thought LeBron James came to the Lakers because of Lonzo Ball and it made all the sense in the world. LeBron reaching the back end of his career and teaming up with a 6’6 point guard with a similar approach to the game as him on top of that packs some athleticism and court vision? Yep that sounds like LeBron. Injuries struck, Lonzo Ball got hurt,Rajon Rondo got hurt for a stretch, LeBron even missed about 17 games and the Lakers were never able to put it all together. Lonzo Ball was the only player ever to record a triple double alongside him, that’s flat out impressive considering how ball dominant of a player LeBron James is.
But anyways to conclude I would love to see Lonzo Ball get traded to the Knicks, it will boost ratings in the NBA and the Lonzo Ball critics would say he won’t get another contract which I think is just insane. If he was 34 I would probably agree but at 22 Lonzo Ball has all the time to blossom? Will he ever live up to being drafted #2? That would be me being way too optimistic but I do believe he will become an all-star at least once in his career. He just checks too many boxes as a point guard not to? His only real weakness is his 3 point efficiency and lack of aggressiveness attacking the basket, those two can be fixed through development and the right coaching. So maybe the Knicks should trade for him and see how Mike Miller utilizes him? Or maybe hire Jasón Kidd or Mark Jackson to take him under the wing and help unlock his potential? We will have to wait and see till next time.