Former Lakers Guard Josh Hart Rips Free Agency Rumor

Getty Images LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket in front of Josh Hart of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Josh Hart is not interested in signing with Detroit, something the former Los Angeles Lakers guard made abundantly clear in a tweet on Saturday.

A fan Photoshopped a picture of the Pelicans guard wearing a Pistons uniform and Hart tweeted simply, “Na” in response.

Hart will be a restricted free agent this offseason after spending his last two seasons with the Pelicans. It was reported by Chris Fedor of cleveland.com that Hart would like a fresh start to his career. Hart ended up in New Orleans through the trade that brought Anthony Davis to the Lakers.

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Hart was a key piece for the Pelicans last season, playing just under 29 minutes off the bench, averaging 9.2 points and 8.0 rebounds. However, he shot just 32.6% from beyond the arc — a career-low.

“Obviously, I didn’t shoot the ball as well I wanted to,” Hart said, per NOLA.com. “Didn’t get into much of a rhythm. That was a frustrating part of it. But I knew that wasn’t indicative of myself as a shooter. Defensively, I was kind of where I wanted to be. I felt like I was good on the defensive end, rebounding the ball at a high rate. Doing those kinds of things.”


Josh Hart Didn’t Enjoy Trade Rumors in Los Angeles

As other members of the Lakers have expressed, it’s not easy to be a role player while wearing purple and gold. The rumors come at a steady stream, which can affect the product on the court. Hart said being involved in the rumors was tough on Brandon Ingram, his teammate in LA and now New Orleans.

“The [trade rumors] were tough on him,” Hart told Zach Lowe of ESPN. “Before LeBron got there, he had been given the keys. And then people in L.A. were killing him: He’s not as good anymore. He’s not a great No 2. pick. The rumors became part of our lives, all year. Thank God I don’t have to deal with that s— anymore.”

Kyle Kuzma, who is the lone leftover member of the “Baby Lakers” following the trade for Davis, has expressed a similar sentiment.

“I mean, just got to just not really worry about it,” Kuzma told reporters last year. “For me, I’ve been in trade rumors ever since I came here. I think that’s just a thing that happens when you’re a Laker. You’re always in trade rumors, especially in this time, so it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. Just control what you can control.”


Lakers Have Decisions to Make With Their Free Agents

The Lakers have some work to do this offseason if they hope to “run it back” next season, with Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso, Andre Drummond, Wes Matthews and Markieff Morris all set to be unrestricted free agents.

“We feel like the roster we had this year was a championship-caliber roster,” Pelinka said in his exit interview, per The Athletic “And obviously there were a lot of things that came into the mix that weren’t within our control that kept us from winning a championship. … Of course we’ll learn from this season and from how the roster was constructed and we’ll apply that wisdom and experiences to what we do going forward.”

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