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Report: Devonte’ Graham heading to New Orleans via sign-and-trade

The Hornets are getting back a first-round pick in exchange for the guard.

Devonte’ Graham of the Charlotte Hornets shoots against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on May 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

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.

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.