It should sound intriguing, if not outright good. Lonzo is a pure playmaker and passer (although much better in transition than the halfcourt) that would fit well next to Quickley, who creates more for himself. Lonzo is a strong defender, and both could play off the ball and knock down catch-and-shoot threes. There is real potential in the pairing.
Ball apparently sees it and may sign with the Knicks as a restricted free agent this summer, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.
The Knicks are looking to make a move at the March 25 NBA trade deadline for an upgrade — preferably for backcourt help.
The Post has learned the Knicks, with plenty of cap room, would be heavily on Ball’s radar as a restricted free agent.
As the Knicks make a push to stay in the playoffs in the East this season, improved point guard play is a concern. Ball would help in the short term as well as be a possible longer-term fit.
It’s easy enough to make the salaries match for a Lonzo Ball trade — Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox would do it, although the Pelicans also likely want a pick in that scenario since it’s unlikely they keep either player long term — but do the Knicks want to surrender a pick or a young player they like to get Ball now when they can try to poach him this summer as a restricted free agent?
The Pelicans can match any offer Ball signs this coming offseason, but might not if the number is high enough (New Orleans has luxury tax considerations and know it needs to pay Zion Williamson in a couple of years). Would the Pelicans match an offer north of $17 million a year to start? Do the Knicks want to pay that much for Ball?
New Orleans will be looking to make trades at the deadline — J.J. Redick almost certainly will be on the move — and a Lonzo Ball trade is possible. The Knicks are in play. But it’s more likely we are talking about this pairing again in August (or whenever free agency starts).