As expected, the Trail Blazers have decided to fully guarantee Josh Hart‘s salary for the 2022/23 season, according to Aaron J. Fentress of OregonLive.com (Twitter link). Hart will now make $12.9MM next year.
Hart appeared in 13 games last season after being traded from the Pelicans to Blazers, averaging 19.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest on 50% shooting. While those stellar numbers are above the norm for him, the 26-year-old still put up a solid 14.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 4.1 APG in 41 games with New Orleans before getting traded.
Hart is a prime candidate to start at small forward unless the Blazers make a move. Portland agreed to trade for Jerami Grant this week, adding him to a core that already includes Damian Lillard and restricted free agent Anfernee Simons. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic will enter unrestricted free agency next week.