Fans were happy when the New Orleans Pelicans brought guard/forward Josh Hart back on a three year deal.
Josh Hart’s contract could be for 3 years/$37.9 million, which seems about right for a player of his skill and experience in the league.
The Pelicans do not have a single bad contract, and have some of the best value deals in the league.
Devonte’ Graham’s contract looks like a steal, as does Jonas Valanciunas, especially when compared to similar players around the league.
I would argue that Josh Hart’s deal is even better, especially when you look at the details.
Only the first year of Hart’s deal is guaranteed, with the second only being partially guaranteed and the third a player option. Hart clearly bet on himself with this deal, as the Pels can opt out of it after the first year without paying the full amount.
If things go well for Hart, he could opt out after year two and try to get a more lucrative long-term deal from the Pelicans or someone else. This contract has advantages for both sides, but especially the Pels.
The New Orleans Pelicans have no long-term commitments, including Josh Hart
The Pelicans are clearly trying to build a sustainably successful team around Zion Williamson and the best way to do that is not to tie up money with expensive long-term deals.
If things don’t work out with Hart this season, the Pels can simply move on and it won’t cost them anything more than money.
Since Hart will more or less be an expiring deal this season, he will be a valuable commodity at the trade deadline, where teams will not only like the skills he brings to the table but the fact that he is on a team-friendly deal that won’t hamper their cap sheet.
Hopefully Hart plays well and there is mutual interest to bring him back for his full contact, but he will also be a valuable trade chip if the Pelicans wanted to make a big move. Not only will his salary be useful in balancing the deal but teams won’t be scared off since it is really just guaranteed for this season.
Josh Hart bet on himself, but in doing so he made himself more valuable and left the New Orleans Pelicans with a lot of options.