Lonzo Ball to the Chicago Bulls has been rumored for a long time now. There were talks of the team showing interest in him at this past year’s trade deadline. That deal obviously did not happen, so the Bulls look to free agency to acquire his talents. All major media outlets are predicting that Ball will likely sign with the Chicago Bulls.
How Lonzo Fits
The Bulls have come to the realization that Coby White is not the ideal backcourt partner for Zach LaVine. They are both score-first guards who prefer to have the ball in their hands. Due to this realization, the Bulls have been rumored to be in contact with a lot of the top free agent point guards this offseason. What the team needs is more perimeter defense and a point guard who can set the tempo and set up his teammates. That is exactly what Ball does.
Ball has been one of the better defenders at his position for the last couple of years now. He uses his great length at 6’6″ and is able to disrupt ball handlers. The Bulls lack perimeter defense outside of
Patrick Williams. Ball would be able to step in right away and provide a ton for this team on the defensive end.
What is probably even more important to this team is the playmaking that Lonzo will bring. Dating back to his high school days, everyone knew Lonzo was a special passer. He has the vision and feel for the game that will make life so much easier for his teammates. He has such a great feel of where his teammates will be at all times and it will only get better with time.
Ball is exactly what the Bulls need. He fills two of their biggest weaknesses coming into the offseason.
While Lonzo does fill the need of passing and perimeter defense, he is not without weakness. A big knock on Lonzo coming out of college was his shooting, more importantly his jump shot form. Since then though, he has fixed his form and his jump shot has actually become a strength. Where he struggles is a couple other aspects on offense.
Relative to other point guards in the league, his handles are fairly weak and basic. He is not too creative when putting the ball on the floor. This results in him not being able to get to the rim as effectively as he probably should. To piggyback off of that point, when Lonzo is able to get to the rim, he struggles to finish. He does not have a good floater or pull up game either. This limits Lonzo a lot on the offensive end.
So far in his development, he has kind of become a 3-and-D point guard, but with great passing ability. This is a unique type of player, but it is who Lonzo is at this stage of his career. While it may be preferable if he were to develop into a better all around player, his special skillset is exactly what the Bulls need.
What Could Hold the Deal Back
The Pelicans offered Lonzo a qualifying offer, which makes him a restricted free agent. The means that any contract that Ball is offered this offseason, he can choose to sign it, but the Pelicans will be given the option to match the offer, and retain him. It is believed that the Pelicans are also heavily invested in the free agent point guard market. Their eyes seem to be more set on Kyle Lowry though. With their eyes on some other targets, it is likely that the Pelicans will not be matching whatever offer the Bulls send Lonzo’s way.
Featured Image courtesy of Marcel Mutoni/Slam Magazine
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