“The passion Willy and Didi have for their teammates and our greater Pelicans community is reflected every day in their approach to the game,” Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement. “Their joyful outlook, work ethic, attention to detail and desire to grow and evolve as professionals has been infectious and we look forward to continuing towards our goals together deep into the future.”
AUGUST 6: The Pelicans have agreed to a three-year deal with Willy Hernangomez that will keep the veteran big man in New Orleans, agents Jim Tanner and Guillermo Bermejo tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The third year will be a team option, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com.
Hernangomez, 27, spent his first four NBA seasons in New York and Charlotte before joining the Pelicans as a free agent last November. In his first year with the team, he averaged 7.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 47 games (18.0 MPG) and was the starting center in the season’s final weeks.
Most recently, Hernangomez represented Spain in the Tokyo Olympics, posting a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) in the team’s quarterfinal loss to Team USA earlier this week.
Hernangomez was on a minimum-salary contract last season and New Orleans only held his Non-Bird rights, so the team’s ability to offer a raise without using cap room or another exception (ie. the mid-level) was limited. We’ll have to wait for the financial terms on Hernangomez’s deal to get a sense of how the Pelicans are re-signing him.