Over a month ago, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball found himself in the middle of trade rumors. The Pelicans were regularly gauging the level of interest around the NBA in the 23-year-old guard. Since the speculation broke out back in January, Ball brought his game a notch higher as he wanted to prove his value to the team this season, per Bleacher Report‘s Jake Fischer.
After he was critiqued for his fit alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, Ball stepped up and improved from 32.1% from 3 through January to 45.9% on 8.1 attempts per game from beyond the arc in the month of February.
As seen from his numbers, it’s evident that Ball took the trade chatter seriously. According to team officials, his noticeable improvement can be credited to the three-game break he had in the middle of the team’s six-game road trip back in mid-January.
During the short hiatus, Ball was able to give his knees a much-needed break while also studying film and tweaking his shooting form in order to drain shots more efficiently from the field. It seemed as if Ball has already silenced the talks and convinced the Pelicans to stick with him for the time being, though talks could always pick up again as the March 25 deadline approaches.
The Chicago Bulls have been rumored as a possible trade suitor for Ball, but there’s clearly nothing going on there right now.
However, the team is still entertaining offers for veteran players in JJ Redick and Eric Bledsoe leading up to the trade deadline. The former is currently averaging 8.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists, while the latter is tallying 12.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game as a starter for New Orleans.
The Pelicans went through the month of February with a 7-8 win-loss tally, ultimately accounting for a 14-19 record for the 11th spot in the Western Conference.