Free Agency started August first and the moment it got to 6:00 teams were making moves left and right. Lonzo Ball formally of the New Orleans Pelicans agreed on a sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls. Ball agreed to a four-year, $85 million deal.
Ball will be a nice fit with Chicago, but if I am a New Orleans fan, I am losing my mind about free agency so far. David Griffin who is New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations better have a plan before Zion Williamson doesn’t resign after his rookie contract is up.
This is the second time over the past couple of months I am writing about the potential of Williamson leaving earlier. Williamson would be the first rookie to not sign an extension after his rookie deal is up. In today’s NBA where players have more power than ever, it’s going to happen one day.
Williamson and Ball really worked well together, I thought. This past season New Orleans wanted Williamson making more decisions with the ball in his hands. Which makes sense because Williamson is a solid ball handler. Especially on the break, Williamson is a one-man fast break who can go cost to cost. But at the same time, that is not a good reason to not bring back Ball.
For whatever reason Griffin did not want to bring back Ball. If you knew that was the case why did Griffin not trade Ball back at the deadline? Let’s go back to the sign-and-trade that Griffin got back from Chicago. Tomas Satoransky, Garett Temple, and a second-round pick.
Are you kidding me? I’m sorry that is just awful. If Griffin knew he wasn’t going to resign Ball, then he should have traded him at the deadline, no excuses.
New Orleans did acquire Devonte’ Graham from the Charlotte Hornets in another sign-and-trade. Graham signed for $47 million for four years. I like Graham but he doesn’t play a lick of defense. New Orleans is already a terrible defensive team that just got worse. Oh, and New Orleans is sending Charlotte its 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick.
I know Griffin has a lot of draft picks from the Anthony Davis trade and the Jrue Holiday trades. I suggest he starts using them sooner rather than later before Williamson looks elsewhere. Even worse, there won’t be an NBA team in New Orleans anymore if Griffin mess’s this up.