The New Orleans Pelicans already lost a guard in free agency when Lonzo Ball bolted to the Chicago Bulls. Now, it looks like they don’t want that to happen again and are ready to make a deal with Josh Hart.
Hart, a restricted free agent after the Pelicans gave him his $5.2 million qualifying offer for the 2021-22 season, is said to be closing in on a three-year, $38 million deal with New Orleans, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Restricted free agent G Josh Hart is closing in on a three-year, $38 million deal to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans, his agents Aaron Mintz, Steven Heumann and Dave Spahn of @CAA_Basketball tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 16, 2021
Josh Hart is considered to be one of the best remaining available free agents in the market after a rather eventful start to the period a couple of weeks ago. He has been linked with several teams over the past few days, with the likes of the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers all said to be interested on a potential sign-and-trade for Hart.
However, there has not been much movement in those rumored discussions and it’s now looking likely that the former Villanova standout will be back alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram in New Orleans.
In his two seasons with the Pelicans since being sent to New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis blockbuster, Hart averaged 9.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. A defense-first guard, his return to the team should at least help keep the team’s wings stable amid the lack of depth at the backcourt.