Josh Hart on rumors he endured while on Lakers: ‘Thank God I don’t have to deal with that s–t anymore’

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart is expressing relief that the constant trade rumors that surrounded him while he was on the Los Angeles Lakers are a thing of the past.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe looked at Brandon Ingram’s continued development as a player, with Hart noting how the Lakers’ signing of LeBron James in 2018 changed how Ingram was perceived.

In addition, the constant rumors of a potential trade for Anthony Davis became a burden that Hart is relieved to no longer bear.

“The [trade rumors] were tough on him,” said Hart, Ingram’s teammate in both L.A. and New Orleans. “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.”

Those rumors first surfaced in late 2018 and continued until the Lakers and Pelicans were finally able to agree on a blockbuster deal involving Davis, Ingram, Hart and guard Lonzo Ball.

The 23-year-old Ingram averaged 13.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game during his three seasons with the Lakers, but he has improved on those numbers in his two seasons with the Pelicans.

Ingram is currently averaging 23.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game this season, essentially matching his numbers from the 2019-20 campaign.

The continued development of Ingram is one reason why the Pelicans rewarded him with a lucrative five-year, $158 million contract extension in November.

Hart’s more modest numbers haven’t resulted in a contract extension from the Pelicans, with the guard set to become a restricted free agent this summer.

His effectiveness in coming off the bench will surely result in a new deal with some team after the season, though it appears that Hart’s concern over the situation is currently minimal.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.