07/26/2021, 9:36 PM
Traded to Pelicans
The two teams will swap starting centers, but the Pelicans will pay a price for Memphis taking on a pair of less-than-desirable salary figures. New Orleans will send the No. 10 and No. 40 picks in Thursday's draft -- as well as a top-10-protected 2022 first-rounder (via the Lakers) -- to Memphis, which will send back the No. 17 and No. 51 picks in 2021. The trade will likely install Valanciunas as the Pelicans' top center alongside Zion Williamson, who struggled to fit in next to a non-spacer in Adams. Valanciunas is coming off of a career year in 2020-21, posting career-highs in scoring (17.1 PPG) and rebounding (12.5 RPG) while adding 1.8 assists and 0.9 blocks per contest. Valanciunas finished the season 21-of-57 (36.8%) from three-point range, and there's a good chance he'll be asked to do more floor-spacing in New Orleans -- especially if Williamson's jumper does not improve this offseason.
05/17/2021, 7:04 PM
Hart was sidelined for the final 25 games of the Pelicans' season after requiring surgery on his right thumb, but he should be in store for a relatively normal offseason once he gains full medical clearance in the next few weeks. The 26-year-old wing wrapped up his second season in New Orleans with averages of 9.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 three-pointers in 28.7 minutes per game over his 47 appearances.
05/17/2021, 5:50 PM
Picks up minor injury in finale
Before departing, Hayes logged 20 minutes and finished with 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds, three assists and one steal. The injury doesn't look like anything that will affect his preparation for the 2021-22 season, when Hayes will be looking to hold down a more prominent role in the rotation. The 2019 lottery pick was playing his best basketball of his young career in May, averaging 13.8 points (on 56.5/75.8/42.9 percent shooting splits), 6.4 boards, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 assists in 22.6 minutes per game over nine appearances on the month.