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New Orleans is where Lonzo Ball belongs, for now

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) dribbles past Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious...
New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) dribbles past Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, March 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)(KALB)
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It’s no secret that Lonzo Ball, still on his rookie contract, was a sought-after guard ahead of last week’s trade deadline.

“It was definitely on my mind,” says Ball. “I was prepared for anything. I know a lot of people were calling.”

But in the end, despite whatever calls were made, Lonzo stayed in New Orleans. And unlike a former teammate, now playing elsewhere in the division, he sounds pleased with the decision made by the Pelicans front office.

“I’m happy to be here,” says Ball. “It was a long day, but overall I ended up not getting moved and staying here where I wanted to be. So it all worked out how it was supposed to.”

As vice president David Griffin explained last Friday, Ball isn’t the type of player to rush to the spotlight to confirm or deny any reports. Griffin says they know Lonzo wants to be here. Ball specifically pointed out that he enjoys playing with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Still, that’s only certainty for the remainder of this season thanks to his expiring contract. There was always a risk factor with keeping Lonzo and knowing that if they want him long-term, it’s going to cost. But in the meantime, it’s worth it. Ball’s become a reliable shooter with career highs in a field goal, three-point, and free throw percentage. And in his words, improving his game and the success of the team are all that’s on his mind right now.

“I just try to stay in the now,” says Ball. “I’m trying to get back on the court as fast as possible and make the playoffs. I’ll think about the summer when the summer comes. But right now, it’s just about getting back on the court and playing.”

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