Both players have been inconsistent, especially when it comes to shooting the ball, which could make it difficult for the Pels to retain both and significantly improve their roster.
And while Lonzo will get more of the headlines as a free agent, the decision of whether to retain Hart is just as difficult.
That decision didn’t get any easier when Didi Louzada came over from Australia late in the season.
If you aren’t familiar, Louzada is a 21-year-old draft-and-stash player who spent a couple of years in the Australian league after being drafted by the Pelicans in the second round.
He is known as a hard-nosed and versatile defender who has the size to guard multiple positions. He’s not a great shooter, but can get to the hoop and finish and he has the size to be a plus rebounder for his position.
New Orleans Pelicans: Didi Louzada could be a cheaper version of Josh Hart
If Louzada’s attributes sound familiar it’s because they are pretty much identical to the strengths and weaknesses of Josh Hart.
Hart is one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA, a tough and versatile defender who can guard up or down.
But he has struggled shooting the 3-ball and doesn’t make much impact on the offensive end, which is why the Pelicans may decide to let him walk in free agency.
Louzada is not going to be the rebounder that Hart is, but the Pelicans don’t need rebounding, they need on-the-ball defense and guys who can either shoot 3-pointers or get their own shot in the offense.
Louzada is already a tenacious on-the-ball defender and while his shot is probably not as good as Hart’s, he’s better at creating off the bounce.
The New Orleans Pelicans need to have a good offseason and have a lot of glaring holes to fix, so they might have to let Josh Hart walk for the cheaper version and invest their assets elsewhere.