Pelicans: What qualifying offers to Lonzo and Hart mean for their future

Josh Hart #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Lonzo Ball (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Josh Hart #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Lonzo Ball (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans made some headway with Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, extending both qualifying offers.

Andrew Lopez of ESPN reported the news, which was not unexpected.

According to Spotrac, Josh Hart’s qualifying offer is $5.2 million while Lonzo Ball’s is $14.4 million.

But what do these offers mean for their future with the New Orleans Pelicans?

New Orleans Pelicans: What is the NBA qualifying offer?

If this terminology is a foreign language to you, the qualifying offer is simply a one-year guaranteed contract that the player can either accept or decline.

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If the player accepts the deal, then they will play out the one year and become an unrestricted free agent at the end of it.

If the player declines, they become a restricted free agent, which means the Pelicans will have the right to match any deal offered by another team.

New Orleans Pelicans: What does this mean for Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart’s future with the Pelicans?

The Pelicans have been back and forth with both of these players after failing to come to extension agreements last offseason.

There are a number of teams who are reportedly interested in Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart will certainly get some attention from other teams as well, so these qualifying offers are not necessarily an indication that either will be back in New Orleans.

The qualifying offers are also just a starting point for negotiation, as both players are certain to get more in their next contracts regardless of who they sign with.

For now, Ball and Hart’s camps will continue to negotiate with the Pelicans on a long-term extension, but if some other team makes a huge offer, it’s still very possible the Pelicans will just walk away.

Free agency starts tomorrow, so we will know soon if these qualifying offers are a strategy or if the New Orleans Pelicans are really serious about bringing these two players back.

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