Rich Paul discusses Lonzo Ball’s approach for free agency: ‘We’re open-minded to the landscape of the league’

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Rapidly, it seems as though Lonzo Ball’s time in New Orleans time is coming to an end. Over the span of just a few days, a number of reports have indicated the same theme of Ball exiting the franchise this offseason as he’s set for restricted free agency.

On Tuesday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania indicated the Pelicans would not match a “significant” offer sheet given to the guard this summer while noting that the Bulls and Clippers would be frontrunners for him. Marc Stein then followed later in the day by reporting the Lakers could search for avenues to re-acquire the guard they once drafted in 2017.

None of that, though, holds a candle to comments from Ball’s agent, Rich Paul, himself on Wednesday. In an interview with Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, Paul gave as illuminating a look at Ball’s upcoming free agency as there has been yet.

Haynes: Looking beyond the draft, you’ve got some free agents to get deals for this summer and one of them is New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, who will be a restricted free agent. What do you two ultimately want?

Paul: We’re open-minded. In free agency, we all understand what that is in this landscape of business. He’s a really good young player with the ability to become a great player. And so I think there’s a lot of interests there. We’re, open-minded. The phone lines will definitely be open come free agency. At the end of the day, we’ll look to make the best deal.

Haynes: Is New Orleans still an option?

Paul: We’re open-minded to the landscape of the league.

As a long-time NBA agent, Paul knows to note close any doors on potential options, especially in a league as sometimes unpredictable as the NBA. That, then, makes his comments all the more fascinating.

While Paul isn’t closing the door on the Pelicans, that he would not outright say New Orleans is an option is rather incriminating on their chances of retaining him. Obviously, in restricted free agency, New Orleans will have the chance to match an offer sheet regardless of what the contract is.

However, pair the reports of the last two days together and Ball will likely be joining a new team in under a month.

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Report: Lakers expected to have interest in Lonzo Ball in free agency

Report: Clippers, Bulls expected to be pursue Lonzo Ball in free agency

Report: Pelicans unlikely to match significant offer sheet for Lonzo Ball in free agency