The Portland Trail Blazers guaranteed Josh Hart’s $13 million contract for the 2022-23 season, according to Aaron J. Fentress of the Oregonian. The veteran wing entered Saturday with the possibility of becoming a free agent.
However, considering his role and his financially friendly contract, it was expected for the Blazers to retain him for the 2022-23 season. Hart has a $13 million player option for the 2023-24 campaign, per Spotrac.
He joined Portland in February’s deadline as part of the deal that sent CJ McCollum to New Orleans. The rebounding wing 13 games and averaged 19.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor.
He shot an excellent 37 percent from beyond the arc. Hart spent the first two seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 7.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 130 games with the LA franchise.
The Blazers are coming off a disappointing season, finishing 13th (27-55) in the Western Conference and missing the playoffs after nine consecutive appearances. The team will hope to retool its roster around star Damian Lillard this offseason.
With Hart under contract, the Blazers will focus on re-signing of free agents Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons. The Blazers will also hope to add more star power going forward if they want to contend for a title.