New Orleans Pelicans Acquire Devonte’ Graham in Sign and Trade

Spread the love

The New Orleans Pelicans acquired Devonte’ Graham via sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday. Graham will head to New Orleans and the Hornets will receive a 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick. Graham’s contract is for four years and $47 million, which could appear to be a bargain down the line.

Devonte’ Graham Signs With the New Orleans Pelicans

Over his three-year NBA career, Graham had grown into a spark plug for the Hornets off of the bench. He broke out during the 2019-20 season, averaging career-highs of 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game. After being a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, Graham’s role regressed with the addition of LaMelo Ball. The former Kansas guard still managed to average 14.8 points and 5.4 assists off of the bench.

With Lonzo Ball on his way to Chicago, Graham could be walking into a starting role with the Pelicans. His breakout season gave us a glimpse of what he could do with starter’s minutes, averaging career-highs and supplying signature moments in both Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.

He should slot right into the role as the Pelicans’ third scoring option, and he fits head coach Alvin Gentry’s run-n-gun style of play. His shot-creating ability should mesh very well with new running mates Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, giving the Pelicans a strong core for the future.

What the Graham Signing Means for the Future

Replacing Ball with Graham will have its pros and cons. Ball finally had the breakout season fans have been waiting for, as he emerged as a sniper and habitual triple-double threat. Graham won’t bring the same set of skills to the table, but he will come at significantly less of a fee.

Ball’s four-year, $85 million contract may have put the Pelicans in a compromising position after resigning Ingram last summer. Replacing Graham with Ball will allow New Orleans to maintain cap flexibility, and potentially lure a big fish prior to Willamson’s eventual max-extension. With Graham, the Pelicans may have got a bit more bang for their buck.

Main Image:

Embed from Getty Images