New Orleans Pelicans Enjoy Willy Hernangomez More Than Adam Sandler’s New Netflix Movie Hustle. He made himself virtually untouchable in the NBA trade market, but his teammate jokingly excluded him from the list after seeing Bo Cruz try. Cruz is portrayed by Willy’s brother, Juancho Hernangomez. Willy appears as himself.
“We refused to trade him because of what he gives to the group (from a chemistry and locker room perspective),” executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said after being told. eliminated from the NBA Playoffs. Other teams were calling because Hernangomez was producing while receiving minutes.
Willy played 50 games last season, starting eight. The Spain international averaged 9.1 points and 6.8 rebounds while making more shots (52%) than he missed. He had 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 25. Hernangomez had 17 points and 10 rebounds in just 14 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks on March 20.
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Hernangomez owes $2.44 million and $2.55 million over the next two seasons and believes he is coming off his best year of his professional career. While getting a few seconds cameo role in Hustle, Hernangomez has been a key rotational piece in the final three weeks of the season, helping the Pelicans secure the final berth in the NBA Play-In Tournament. He knows he will have to fight for minutes in the future, but loves the city and wants another chance to experience playoff basketball.
The production is invaluable at the price point. Hernangomez was 8 years olde in total rebounds per minute behind Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert, Clint Capela, Hassan Whiteside, JaVale McGee, Omar Yurtseven and Nikola Jokic. Only Stephen Adams grabbed more offensive rebounds per minute last season. Hernangomez buys those valuable extra goods that win games.
The relief big man explained during his exit interview, “My season personally, I think, has been my career best season so far. I think I proved that I could play in this league. Obviously, I would have liked to play more minutes. I think I deserve to play every game. But at the end of the day, I’m a team guy. Whatever the team needs to win, I’ll take it… It’s been an incredible year. From the start, so hard, so hard. It was amazing to be in the playoffs. New Orleans, the city was amazing. My first playoffs. It’s a season I will remember all my life. »
Several Pelicans went to the team’s training facility to work out during the offseason. 5-on-5 might not get as wild as pick-up matches on the Hustle board, but Hernangomez is relishing the time with his teammates. He even organizes a camp that Zion Williamson could attend.
“For me, my team is my family, my arena or my training center is my home and I love my teammates. I’m so happy to have good teammates because sometimes you hear people have bad teammates or whatever. No. Here, everyone is fine. Humble. Work hard. And we have superstars. We have Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas, who are superstars, but they are humble, two-way guys. That’s the beauty of this team. I think the sky’s the limit for us, and I think we’re headed in the right direction.