After dealing away Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, it appears the New Orleans Pelicans got a steal in that NBA trade. All eyes were on Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart plus the future picks, overshadowing Brandon Ingram.
As most know, the second overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft was dealing with a blood clot issue. Most did not expect him to suit up this 2019-20 NBA season, aware that he needed time to heal and be given clearance. It turns out that Ingram was ready to play after all and most were caught by surprise.
The often-compared heir apparent of Kevin Durant has been impressive thus far. With Zion Williamson currently out due to injury, the 22-year-old has lived up to his promise of stepping up for the Pelicans.
In 14 games, Ingram has averaged 25.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. Compared to his career averages, these are big numbers to behold. Despite his efforts, the Pelicans are 6-13 in the Western Conference. Head coach Alvin Gentry needs more players involved although Ingram’s performance is something to behold.
In addition, the Pelicans could end up with one of the most fearsome frontlines soon. Williamson already provided a glimpse of what he could do in the summer although blending in with Ingram is still a big question. If all goes well, the Pels could be on the right track riding on the shoulders of two talented young NBA stars.
New Orleans knows that Ingram will become a restricted free agent next summer. Before officially playing his first game as a Pelican, a rookie contract extension could have been done. Unfortunately, it made no sense because there were questions about how Healthy he was. After 14 games, it is obvious that the Pelicans will go all out to keep him in the NBA offseason.
Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin told Marc Spears of The Undefeated that they have every intention of keeping Ingram long-term. However, that will depend on how they can convince the former Duke Blue Devil to stay. Aside from money, Ingram will likely want to see the Pelicans’ roadmap. He is blossoming and wants to join a team with a winning culture.
Griffin’s statement could be a way to ward off potential suitors. It could also mean that Ingram will only be released at a hefty price. The numbers (financially) are unclear right now. He continues to impress with each passing game. Aligned with that is the fact that the 6-foot-7 forward’s value also goes up.