NBA free agency has mostly ground to a halt in the last week, as money has dried up around the league and the remaining free agents who didn’t get a deal early have been left without a lot of options.
Among those is Josh Hart, as the Pelicans’ wing entered the offseason as a restricted free agent and had made clear that he hoped to find a new opportunity. However, as wing spots around the league got filled and offers weren’t coming his way, and the Pelicans likewise had their top plans fall apart, the two sides seemed to realize their best bet was to run it back in New Orleans.
On Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski brought word that Hart was finalizing a three-year, $38 million deal to stay with the Pelicans, a deal that gets him pretty good market value while also being easily movable in the future should the two sides want to part ways at some point.
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
Hart is a very good defensive and rebounding wing, but his swing skill is going to be his shooting in terms of whether he becomes a value on this new deal or not. Hart shot just 32.6 percent from three a year ago, but if he can ever find a way to approach the 39.6 percent he shot as a second-year player in L.A. again, he will immediately vault up the list of desired wings for contenders. Re-signing in New Orleans seems to provide him with opportunity to continue proving his worth without having to take a discounted deal, while the Pelicans retain a quality piece and also could see themselves holding a very valuable trade chip in the near future if his shooting pops again.