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Charania: Celtics interested in Lonzo Ball

Ball enters restricted free agency this summer.

Boston Celtics v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

After dealing Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thinder, the Celtics have a point guard-sized hole in the starting lineup. There’s some thinking that Marcus Smart could slot right in. Earlier today, it was reported that Boston was interested in Ricky Rubio before he was dealt to Cleveland. Now, Stadium’s Shams Charania is reporting that Brad Stevens could have his eye on Lonzo Ball:

After the Pelicans dealt Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams for Jonas Valanciunas (and swapped several picks), New Orleans cleared cap space to potentially pursue more marquee names to pair with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. They could retain Lonzo Ball as he enters restricted free agency, but several teams, including the Celtics, will also be interested in his services.

In Ball’s fourth season, he seemed to make the leap after disappointing years with the Lakers. He raised his three-point shooting percentage to 37.8% on a high volume and remains a plus defender on the perimeter as a 6’6 guard. The 24-year-old Ball also fits the team timeline and age profile better. After years of having scoring guards at the helm in Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker, the Celtics focus seems to be on defense-first, pass-first point guards to pair with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Obviously, there isn’t an easy for Boston to get Ball. Charania sets his price tag between $20-22 million and the Celtics do not have cap space. They still have Evan Fournier’s free agency to deal with (if they plan on re-signing him) and any possible sign-and-trade deal with New Orleans would hard cap them for the year.

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