NBA coaching legend George Karl campaigns for Nuggets to sign Lonzo Ball

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The market for Lonzo Ball in free agency this upcoming offseason figures to be an exciting one. While the Pelicans may not be interesting in retaining him for his likely market value, contenders like the Clippers and Lakers as well as the Chicago Bulls are set to start lining up.

As is often the case, other teams can emerge once free agency and the offseason begin as other pieces move throughout the league. One of those teams could be the Denver Nuggets, who will be set up for an interesting offseason. The late-season injury to Jamal Murray will change how the team approaches free agency.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Saturday that Nuggets’ wing Will Barton would decline his $14.7 million option. That further opens up the (longshot) possibility the team could acquire an impact player that former Denver coach George Karl campaigned on Twitter should be Lozno Ball.

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When asked by a follower why the Nuggets should go after Ball, Karl offered some reasoning as well.

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On paper, Ball fits the Nuggets’ system and would help fill a need. Murray likely won’t return in 2021-22 or at the end of the season at the earliest. Ball could step in at point guard and be a more than capable stopgap option.

When Murray returns, Ball is versatile enough to start alongside Murray in the backcourt as well, allowing Murray and Nikola Jokic’s two-man game to still shine.

Finding a way for Denver to acquire him could be trickier. Barton’s contract could be close enough to Ball’s this season that a double sign-and-trade could make sense as the Pelicans search for wing depth. It would hardcap the Nuggets but with a roster full of contributors, that isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

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