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Pelicans signing RFA Josh Hart to three-year, $38M contract

Pelicans wing Josh Hart

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MARCH 26: Josh Hart #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans stands on the court during the second quarter of an NBA game against the Denver Nuggets at Smoothie King Center on March 26, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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The top NBA free agent available – Josh Hart – is coming off the board.

The Pelicans restricted free agent is returning to New Orleans.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

That’s a surprisingly high salary for Hart, whose leverage had dried up with cap space around the league. We’ll see how much is guaranteed (especially with this information coming from his agents).

Hart profiles as a 3-and-D wing, though his outside shot hasn’t fallen frequently enough in years. At 6-foot-5, he’ll also continue to give up size while playing small forward in New Orleans.

At guard, the Pelicans return up-and-comers Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis, signed-and-traded for Devonte’ Graham and acquired Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple in the Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade.

Even at small forward, Hart falls behind Brandon Ingram.

Still, New Orleans retains a solid player in the 27-year-old Hart. His style lends itself to helping good teams.

The Pelicans just hope they’ll become that team – or at least that Hart retains positive trade value on this contract.