The New Orleans Pelicans finally ended all of the suspense surrounding the status of Josh Hart, re-signing the popular bench player to a 3-year deal.
Pelicans’ fans seemed mostly happy about this, as the deal is fair for both the team and Hart, and could end up being a great value for the Pels if Hart finds another level.
Hart is a plus rebounder and a pretty good defender and has provided energy and hustle off the Pels’ bench. But he hasn’t been great, certainly not worthy of the 6th Man of the Year award, so does he have any chance to get there?
Let’s start with the obvious, Josh Hart has no chance to win the 6th Man of the Year award unless the New Orleans Pelicans are good, so if the Pels are out of the playoffs again you can forget it.
But I think the Pelicans might surprise some people, still have a big trade lurking up their sleeve, so if they can at least make the play-in Josh Hart might get a look.
Here’s what he has to do to have any chance at all.
New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Hart needs to make 3-pointers
Josh Hart shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range in his rookie season but it’s been downhill ever since, culminating in last season when he shot a career-worst 32 percent.
Hart is going to get open looks, as are all of the guys who play with Zion Williamson, but he has to knock them down.
Hart got plenty of wide-open shots last season but was particularly bad from the left corner (18%) and above the break (34%) even though a lot of them were uncontested.
Hart still managed 9.2 points and 8 rebounds last season, but if he can shoot closer to 40 percent from 3-point range he can bump that well into double-digits. Josh Hart should be spending his offseason working with Fred Vinson, who was able to help both Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram improve dramatically from long range.
Barring this, Hart has no chance at being one of the top reserves, especially with guys like Jordan Clarkson putting up 18 points per game on good teams.