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Devonte' Graham, Pelicans Agree to 4-Year $47M Contract in Sign-and-Trade

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIAugust 3, 2021

Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham (4) drives to the basket against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to a four-year, $47 million contract with Devonte' Graham after negotiating a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

As part of the deal, Charlotte will reportedly receive a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2022.

The Hornets extended Graham the qualifying offer Sunday, which made him a restricted free agent. They successfully used that to leverage a nice asset out of New Orleans.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, needed to find a new point guard after Lonzo Ball agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract with the Chicago Bulls, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

The Hornets originally selected Graham No. 34 overall in the 2018 draft and watched him quickly emerge as a starting point guard, building a case for Most Improved Player in the 2019-20 with the support of LeBron James after increasing his points per game from 4.6 in 2018 to 18.2 during his sophomore campaign. 

As Charlotte continued to tinker with the lineup after adding LaMelo Ball to a backcourt featuring Graham and Terry Rozier, the North Carolina native continued to excel, averaging 14.8 points, 5.4 assists and 3.3 three-pointers per game. That helped the Hornets finish 33-39 in 2020-21 en route to qualifying for the play-in tournament.

With Rozier and Ball leading the backcourt moving forward, the former Jayhawks star no longer fit in the rotation. He could potentially play a starring role in New Orleans alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

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