Lonzo Ball New Orleans Pelicans
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Earlier this year, there were reports linking Lonzo Ball to the Golden State Warriors, whom ESPN's Brian Windhorst revealed had at least preliminary talks with the Pelicans for a deal that could've potentially sent Kelly Oubre Jr. back to the Pelicans. 

Nothing ever came close to happening, but with time still remaining before the March 25th trade deadline, Ball's name has remained in the rumor mill, with the Clippers the latest to reportedly show interest. If the Warriors do want to get into the Ball business, they would have to trade for him, and his Bird rights, as they won't have any cap space this summer and Ball will likely command in the range of $70-80 million as a restricted free agent. 

Mychal Thompson, who of course is Klay Thompson's father and a two-time NBA champion himself, is one who would love to see Lonzo in a Warriors uniform. 

"Lonzo can play," Thompson recently told ESPNLA's "Mason & Ireland" show. "I wish he was on the Warriors passing the ball to Steph [Curry] and Klay."

Shortly after Thompson's segment, Lonzo's father, LaVar Ball, joined the show and adamantly proclaimed Lonzo needs to be traded from New Orleans, where, in LaVar's opinion, his son isn't being used properly. 

"No! No, he can't stay in New Orleans," Lavar said, via USA Today. "Come on, man. Come on, listen. … Lonzo's always been a playmaker. Why are you trying to change him into a defensive specialist that stays in the corner and shoots 3s? And you're trying to change Zion and Brandon Ingram who, all through their careers, have never been playmakers. Scorers! Now you want to put the ball in their hands and be playmakers?! … Go score the ball and do what you do and guess what? They're gonna have a hard time trying to win every game if the playmaker ain't making the right plays."

LaVar's fatherly bias notwithstanding, the ship has sailed on Lonzo being the lead initiator for a team with any truly competitive aspirations. He just isn't a big enough threat to score, particularly in pick-and-roll situations as he struggles to get to the rim or convert in the short mid-range area. Really, once inside the arc, you can play him almost entirely for the pass. 

Where Lonzo has found an awesome fit is as a supporting shooter in the half-court who can still lead an offense in transition. This is where he would make a ton of sense in the Warriors' ball- and player-movement system. Lonzo isn't just a pass-first player in the sense that he hunts assists; rather, he moves the ball for the sake of everyone's overall rhythm. 

The Warriors embody this inclusive style. A passer as willing, instinctual and physically gifted as Lonzo, with shooters like Curry and Thompson on the receiving end, is a deadly combination. It has turned Draymond Green into one of the league's top assist men. 

On the other end of that equation, Lonzo would also serve as a capable floor spacer when Curry is controlling the ball. He's shooting 38.5% from 3 this season and 42.4% percent since the start of February. This was always the problem prior to Lonzo's shooting uptick last season: He wasn't threatening enough to lead an offense, but he wasn't a good enough shooter to serve in a supporting role. Now he is. Throw in Ball's versatile, athletic defense in Golden State's switching scheme, and yeah, it would be a pretty great fit. 

It's just not likely to happen. The Warriors aren't going to include any high-leverage assets -- namely James Wiseman or the 2021 Minnesota pick -- in a deal for Lonzo. For the Pelicans, Oubre is a comparable player to Ball, probably a bit worse, and he's a free agent as well.

The Pelicans probably aren't interested in taking on Andrew Wiggins' contract; even if they were, they would have to add a lot more money on their end of the deal. Would Golden State be willing to take Eric Bledsoe or Steven Adams off New Orleans' hands?

Look, you never know how this stuff is going to play out leading up to the trade deadline. If New Orleans isn't getting any offers it likes and feels like it's not going to resign Ball this summer, a last-minute deal could be struck with a team like Golden State to avoid the fallout of losing Ball for nothing. But don't expect it. The Pelicans will have other offers, and with the way Ball is playing, frankly, they might be strongly considering the possibility of keeping him long-term anyway.