Pels land Hornets PG Graham in sign-and-trade

The New Orleans Pelicans are acquiring Charlotte Hornets restricted free agent Devonte’ Graham in a sign-and-trade deal, Graham’s agents Austin Brown and Ty Sullivan told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The deal is worth $47 million over four years.

New Orleans is sending Charlotte its 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick, sources said.

Graham became the odd man out in Charlotte, where LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier grabbed the majority of the point guard minutes, and now gets a fresh start with New Orleans.

Graham, 26, had a breakout season with the Hornets in 2018-19, averaging 18.2 points and 7.5 assists in 63 games. He finished fifth in the NBA’s Most Improved Player voting — an award won by his new teammate Brandon Ingram.

After the Hornets drafted Ball, Graham was used in a variety of different ways — sometimes starting with Rozier and Ball, other times coming off the bench late in the season — but his production slightly dipped to 14.8 points and 5.4 assists per game.

Graham’s never shot higher than 40% from the field in any season, but he has been a steady 3-point shooter the past two seasons at 37.3% in 2019-20 and 37.55 last season. His 218 makes from deep two seasons ago ranked fifth in the NBA.

According to Second Spectrum, Graham shot 42.6% on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers last season, a mark that was ninth out of 62 NBA players who shot at least four catch-and-shoot 3-pointers a game.

Graham went from 210 catch-and-shoot 3s two years ago to 296 last season, shifting more as the Hornets played with LaMelo Ball controlling the show.

Graham could step into a starting role in New Orleans to replace Lonzo Ball, who agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bulls.

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