Josh Hart, Jahlil Okafor questionable for Pelicans vs. Jazz on Saturday
Hart has missed the Pelicans’ past five games due to a left ankle sprain, while Okafor has been dealing with the same ailment and has missed five games, too.
The Pelicans acquired Hart alongside ex-Los Angeles Lakers teammates Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball in the Anthony Davis trade. On the other hand, Okafor — who was cast out of the Philadelphia 76ers after Joel Embiid’s rise — signed with New Orleans prior to the 2018-19 season.
Hart has been splendid for the Pelicans in limited action through the early part of the 2019-20 season, averaging 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 10 appearances and shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from 3-point range.
The franchise-altering Davis trade has left a positive impression on Hart, who called it the “best” thing to happen to teammate Ingram. For what it’s worth, Ingram is now leading the Pelicans in scoring at 25.6 points a game with rookie sensation Zion Williamson still sidelined and yet to make his regular season debut.
“He was put on the back burner by media,” Hart told Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “It’s so funny. Fast forward a half year later, everyone loves him. ‘Oh, most improved player, he’s this, he’s that, he’s that.’
“I think this trade and this move for him here is the best thing ever for him.”
Hart could return on the Pelicans’ upcoming two-game road trip, when they face the Jazz in Salt Lake City and travel to Los Angeles to play the Clippers over the weekend.