February 20, 2021
NBA Rumors: Miami Heat Reportedly Interested In Acquiring Lonzo Ball
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball dribbles down the court.
Gettyimages | Andy Lyons
Basketball

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball has been the subject of multiple trade rumors and ideas since late last month, when it was first rumored that the team was entertaining inquiries about the former No. 2 overall pick, as cited by Bleacher Report. With Ball posting improved numbers in multiple statistical categories since those reports first circulated, it appears that at least one Miami Heat official is interested in acquiring the 23-year-old playmaker, possibly before the March 25 trade deadline.

The Heat Are In Need Of Some Backcourt Help
Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat is defended by Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday.
Gettyimages | Pool

As cited by Heat Nation earlier this week, Heat insider Greg Sylvander took to Twitter to reply to a user who mentioned how Ball has improved his shooting percentages in recent weeks. He claimed that he knows one member of the team’s front office who has “expressed interest” in acquiring the Pelicans guard.

While it isn't clear who Miami might be offering in exchange for Ball if they trade for him, the publication noted that the team is in need of backcourt help, with veteran Goran Dragic currently sidelined with an injury.

 

Ball Is In The Middle Of His Best Scoring & Shooting Season
Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans is defended by Cameron Payne of the Phoenix Suns.
Gettyimages | Christian Petersen

Although his per-game averages in rebounding (4.2) and assists (5.0) are down this year, Ball is currently producing a career-high 14.3 points per contest, according to Basketball-Reference.  He is also contributing heavily on the defensive end, as shown by his average of 1.3 steals in 26 games.

Likewise, his shooting clips of 42.6 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 74.2 percent from the free-throw line are the best he has recorded so far in his four-year NBA career.

Ball Might Not Be A Part Of The Pelicans' Long-Term Plans
Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans attempts a shot.
Gettyimages | Julio Aguilar

While Ball has stepped up his game as he shows more flashes of the potential that made him a high draft pick in 2017, Heat Nation stressed that the Pelicans might not have any plans for him in the long term. Last year, the club used their first-round draft pick on former Alabama Crimson Tide star Kira Lewis Jr., who hasn't seen much playing time as a backup point guard. It is possible, however, that the rookie could get more opportunities to shine if New Orleans decides to part ways with Ball.

The Heat Might Have To Make More Moves If They Want To Return To Finals
Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and other Miami Heat players gather around coach Erik Spoelstra during a timeout.
Gettyimages | Mike Ehrmann

As further pointed out, Ball will likely contribute if Miami trades for him as rumored. However, with their 12-17 record putting them at a tie for 10th place in the Eastern Conference, Heat Nation added that the team has "a lot of work to do" if they want to return to the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.

There have been some trade ideas proposed in recent days that might help the Heat reach this goal, including one where they could get Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine for a package centered on second-year standout Tyler Herro.