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The moment NBA free agency opened at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Lonzo Ball agreed to a four-year, $85 million offer sheet with the Chicago Bulls, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The deal is part of a sign-and-trade that sends Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple and a second-round draft pick to the Pelicans, according to Charania.
The former No. 2 overall draft pick averaged 14.6 points (on 41/38/78 shooting splits), 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 combined steals and blocks in 31.8 minutes over 55 games for the Pelicans in his fourth NBA season. He made himself a valuable asset playing next to New Orleans stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Ball entered the league billed as a brilliant playmaker with high-level vision in the open court who struggled to shoot from distance. His first two years with the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to confirm fears he was an overhyped prospect, and Ball was dealt to the Pelicans in the trade that sent Anthony Davis back to L.A.
Ball's first two seasons in New Orleans saw two head coaches. Both ended shy of a playoff goal. Still, Ball showed significant improvement as a 3-point shooter (37.6% on 7.2 attempts per game over the last two years) and a defender when engaged. His priority remains creating for others, and that makes the 23-year-old point guard a coveted contributor alongside stars whose roles might be more focused on scoring.
Multiple sign-and-trade possibilities involving Ball were brewing in the lead-up to free agency. The Chicago Bulls were widely reported as a primary suitor. According to The Athletic, the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers also had interest. The Dallas Mavericks are also targeting the market's top point guards.
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