OCTOBER 25: The Pelicans officially exercised their 2020/21 options on Ball and Hart on Friday morning, a source tells Lopez (Twitter link).
OCTOBER 22: The Pelicans are expected to exercise their team options for the 2020/21 season on Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. The moves will likely become official soon, Lopez adds.
Ball, who will turn 22 on Sunday, was one of the key pieces in the blockbuster trade that sent Anthony Davis to Los Angeles this summer. In two seasons with the Lakers, Ball averaged 10.0 PPG, 6.4 APG, and 6.2 RPG, but shot poorly (.380/.315/.437) and battled injuries, appearing in just 99 games.
He’ll get a chance at a fresh start in New Orleans this season, and the Pelicans are prepared to lock in his $11,003,782 cap hit for 2020/21. The move will make Ball eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason. He’ll reach restricted free agency in 2021 if he doesn’t sign a new deal next year.
Hart also arrived in New Orleans as a result of the Davis trade. Like Ball, he was a first-round pick in 2017 and is entering his third season. He saw his shooting numbers dip to .407./.336/.688 last season after posting a .469/.396/.702 line as a rookie, but will be counted on to help the Pelicans space the floor. His fourth-year option for 2020/21 is worth $3,491,159.
We’re tracking all of this year’s rookie scale option decisions for ’20/21 right here.