NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lonzo Ball is heading to Chicago in a sign-and-trade agreement that will send Bulls guards Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple to the New Orleans Pelicans, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because trades cannot become official until Friday under NBA rules.
Ball is represented by Klutch Sports, which announced that the four-year veteran guard had agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract. ESPN first reported the trade, which also sends a Bulls second-round draft choice to New Orleans.
Ball, a four-year veteran who turns 24 in October and entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, is coming off his most productive season. In his second year with the Pelicans, he averaged career highs in points (14.6 per game) and field-goal percentage (41.4) while averaging 5.7 assists. Drafted second overall by the Lakers out of UCLA in 2017, Ball has changed his shooting mechanics since being traded to New Orleans as part of a blockbuster deal that sent Anthony Davis to Los Angeles.
Ball hit a career-high 172 3-pointers last season while making a career-best 37.8% of his shots from deep.
Now he goes from teaming with dynamic power forward Zion Williamson to joining Olympian Zach LaVine and two-time All-Star center Nikola Vucevic in a trio the Bulls hope will transform them into contenders in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls finished the 2020-21 campaign 11th in the East at 31-41, two games behind Charlotte for the final play-in spot. While they missed the playoffs for a fourth straight year, it was their first season with Arturas Karnisovas leading the basketball operation and Billy Donovan coaching the club.
The Pelicans’ long-term plans for Satoransky and Temple are unclear. New Orleans basketball operations chief David Griffin has a history of expanding initial two-team team trades to involve more teams and additional swapping of assets, as he did last season when he traded Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee. That deal expanded to include Denver and Oklahoma City.
Satoransky, from the Czech Republic, has played five NBA seasons — his first three with Washington and past two with the Bulls. He has averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 assists in 333 games.
Temple is an 11-year veteran out of LSU who also has played for Houston, Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Washington, Memphis, the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn. He has averages of 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans still have two young guards on the roster who were first-round draft choices — Nickeil Alexander-Walker in 2019 and Kira Lewis Jr. in 2020.
New Orleans’ next starting point guard likely won’t have as prominent a role because the Pelicans regularly run their offense through Williamson, who has been effective initiating plays off the dribble and handling the ball in transition.