The New Orleans Pelicans are acquiring PG Devonte’ Graham in a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets, Shams Charania reported Monday night. Graham was set to become a restricted free agent when the calendar year flips at the end of the week. It was always likely he would move with the emergence of G LaMelo Ball.
Sources: Restricted free agent Devonte' Graham is signing with the Pelicans via sign-and-trade, with New Orleans sending first-round pick to Charlotte.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2021
The Pelicans get a bit of a downgrade with PG Lonzo Ball leaving via sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls earlier Monday. Ball was coming off his best NBA season and is considered a plus-defender. Graham is a decent replacement but could be more of a liability on defense, though he is more of a plus on offense than Ball.
Graham was a second-round pick by the Hawks back in 2018. He had a breakout season in 2019-20 before the season was cut short, averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range in 63 games for the Hornets. Graham regressed a bit last season and dealt with injuries, ceding his starting PG role to LaMelo Ball.