Adrian Wojnarowski: There will be no agreement on a rookie extension for Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, @KlutchSports CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN. Ball will become a restricted free agent next summer. Both sides remain positive about the ability to move forward together, Paul tells ESPN.
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Ball is extension eligible this offseason, but he was one of the many contributors to the Pelicans’ poor showing in the restart. He ranked 299th of 321 players in field goal percentage (30.5%) and continued his refusal to get to the foul line. That will make for complicated negotiations surrounding a long-term deal. “He can’t make shots,” an Eastern Conference scout said. “Not only can he not make shots, but he can’t finish, and it’s gotten to him. … [I’d pay him] $12 to 14 million [per year] for three years, maybe?”
However, scouts are still somewhat bullish on the improved shooting stroke Ball showed over the course of the season (37.5% on more than six attempts per game). “I think he’s turned the corner,” one East scout said. “His game is on the upswing. … Am I concerned? A little bit, but I still think it’s an upward trend.”
Sources inside the Pelicans’ front office maintain that they view Ingram as a critical building block going forward. Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told reporters on June 30 that he believes Ingram and Lonzo Ball, who is extension-eligible after the season, both want to continue in New Orleans.
On Complex’s Load Management podcast, The Athletic’s Shams Charania was asked about whether the Pelicans intend to pay both Brandon Ingram and Ball. Ingram is set to enter restricted free agency this off-season. “I do think Lonzo Ball’s going be in extension talks this summer. As far as Brandon Ingram, he’s positioned himself as a maximum contract player. I don’t expect that those conversations are going to go that extensive.”
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January 22, 2021 | 10:23 am EST Update
Shams Charania: Free agent center Alex Len has agreed to a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. After clearing waivers, Len had multiple suitors and chose opportunity with Wizards, who needed depth in frontcourt.
Curry also wanted clarity on whether officials could review an ejection in the future under similar circumstances. “It’s pretty self-explanatory,” Curry said of the questionable second technical. “He’s been very vocal with James. I know he had already gotten a tech early in the game and obviously mindful of that, he was just talking to his teammate. The refs got confused. And I don’t know what the rules are in that situation when it’s pretty clear who he was talking to, and I don’t know if you can take it back in the moment, but it was pretty glaring that he was talking to his own teammate and kind of unfortunate that it got confused, so move on.”
In addition, there is an ongoing debate of how much a defence can truly impact an opponent’s 3-point percentage? Frequency, sure, but accuracy is less certain. Anecdotally, though, opponents seem to be more prepared for the Raptors cadre of shot-bothers to fly by them. Yet, it remains part of the strategy. “It’s a really fine line in the game,” Nick Nurse said before the win over Dallas earlier in the week. “We normally want to jump by when we know the shot is going to be taken. What you’re doing there is putting a maximum contest on it. It takes a little bit to be able to do that. Kyle (Lowry) is really good at that, those experienced guys like Fred (VanVleet). But after listening to Green bark at various points throughout the night, hearing his frustration one more time apparently was enough, in the officials’ minds at the time, to warrant an ejection. “At halftime Ben Taylor came out and told me that it was a mistake,” Kerr said. “That John Butler didn’t realize that Draymond was yelling at his teammate. He thought he was yelling at him.”
Kobe and Gianna Bryant will be honored in Reggio Emilia where Kobe had lived for two years when he was a child. The city of Reggio Emilia will name a square after Kobe and Gianna Bryant next January 26th, one year after their tragic deaths.
January 22, 2021 | 3:55 am EST Update
Washington is expected to check in on Len if he does clear waivers, according to someone familiar with their plans. It is unclear how strong their interest would be, as they are exploring several options.