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Pelicans Exercise Rookie Options for Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart

Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart are becoming accustomed to New Orleans. As the Pelicans start their season without Zion Williamson, Ball and Hart are off to decent starts. So much so, the Pelicans plan to keep them for at least another year. According to reports, the Pelicans have exercised fourth-year options on both Ball and Hart.

In 2017, Ball was the second pick of that year’s draft. Ball signed a two-year, $13.7 million contract with the Lakers, which includes team options for a third and fourth season. The Lakers picked up Ball’s third-year option, shortly before the Anthony Davis trade. The third-year option increased his salary to $8.7 million. With the Pelicans exercising his fourth-year option, Ball’s salary will increase to $11 million. After Ball’s fourth-year option is over, he can sign an extension or become a restricted free agent.

Hart was the 30th pick of the 2017 draft. He was selected by the Utah Jazz but was traded to the Lakers on draft night.

Hart signed a two-year, $3 million contract with the Lakers, and like Ball, they picked up his third-year option. So, Hart will make $1.9 million this season. Then, Hart will make $3.49 million as the Pelicans pick up his fourth year. Afterward, he will also be eligible for an extension or can become a restricted free agent.

During the offseason, Ball and Hart were a part of one of the biggest trades of the summer. The young players, alongside Brandon Ingram and a draft pick were traded to the Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. They were the subject of trade rumors for most of the season, as the Lakers tried acquiring Davis during the season. However, nothing came to pass. Once the season was over, the deal happened.

Ball and Hart are young players with bright futures. If they can establish themselves alongside Williamson, the Pelicans have something to build around. This is just the beginning.

 

Featured Image courtesy of Tyler Kaufman / Associated Press

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