Lonzo Ball’s upcoming free agency and ensuing contract negotiations will be as fascinating as any player in the offseason. Coming off a career year, Ball is in line to see a hefty pay raise either from the Pelicans or another franchise.
Considering his unique skillset, zeroing in on a figure for Ball’s upcoming contract has been difficult. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto revealed on a recent podcast that there is belief around the league Ball’s contract could clear $20 million annually.
“The noise about Chicago being in the mix for Lonzo seems to have some legs to it depending on who you talk to around the league. There is a belief Lonzo can get around $20 million. I don’t know if New Orleans is going to value him that much, especially as they experimented with the point Zion role towards the end of the season.”
A separate report earlier in the season from the New York Post and Bobby Marks of ESPN indicated that the Pelicans would not match any offer north of $18 million. That report did come before Ball’s strong finish to the regular season largely alongside Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
Ball has been adamant that he wants to remain in New Orleans. Ingram and Williamson campaigned to have him return. However, any ideas of a hometown discount were shot down when Ball hired Klutch Sports to represent him last offseason.
It all adds up to a negotiation that could be messy in the coming months as the two sides head into the offseason.