Restricted free-agent guard Josh Hart is closing in on a three-year, $38 million agreement to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin spoke about Hart and Ball and said they could be “very important focal points on a team that goes into the playoffs. They are playoff-caliber rotational pieces for sure.” Ball is gone, but the franchise deemed it important to resign him.
Hart has become something of a fan favorite because of his hustle and hard-working style. He averaged a career-high 8.0 rebounds in 2020-21, second to only Russell Westbrook (11.5) among NBA guards. His defensive rebounding percentage (23.4) ranked just above centers Jarrett Allen, Robert Williams, DeAndre Jordan and JaVale McGee.
Hart was limited to 47 games last season and missed the final six weeks due to a torn ligament in his thumb that required surgery. At the time of his injury, the Pelicans did not give a specific recovery timetable, but Hart should be ready to go by the start of training camp late next month.