Josh Hart Thanks Lakers on IG After Anthony Davis Trade Sends Him to Pelicans

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart (3) reacts after scoring a 3-point shot in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Soon-to-be former Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart wrote a message to the team as he prepares for his trade to the New Orleans Pelicans.

ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported June 18 the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the Pelicans for a trade package that included Hart.

In an Instagram post Saturday, he addressed his departure from L.A.:

"I want to thank the Laker organization, Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson for taking a chance on me and believing in me. To my teammates thank you for teaching me how to play and grow in this league. To the fans....THANK YOU! Thank you for embracing me and for supporting me through all the ups and downs! One of the best fan bases in the league. It was a dream come true to wear the purple and gold! It's always love on this side."

Hart ended his message with a note to Pelicans fans: "Let's dance."

While he's leaving a team that has title aspirations for the 2019-20 season, landing in New Orleans isn't a bad outcome for the 24-year-old.

The Pelicans selected Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, and the flurry of draft-day trades by executive vice president David Griffin shows it's a new era in New Orleans. This front office should be able to surround Williamson with a strong supporting cast.

During Bleacher Report's NBA draft show, Hart said he believes the Pelicans could be an NBA Finals team in three to four years:

Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA

Josh Hart says the Pelicans could be in the Finals in 3-4 years 👀 https://t.co/sx93n75eVk

Hart's assessment is a tad optimistic—something he acknowledged—but the franchise is in a much better place than anybody expected it to be when Davis requested a trade in the middle of the season.