Drama between Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans: 3 ideal trades for disgruntled star

It sure looks like the New Orleans Pelicans will trade Brandon Ingram this summer.


Rumors have continued to pop up that Brandon Ingram and his future with the New Orleans Pelicans is up in the air.

The All-Star wing is signed through just next season at $36.02 million. Meanwhile, Pelicans front office head David Griffin indicated after their first-round series sweep at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder that changes are in store this summer.

“In the past, we’ve always erred on the side of continuity, and our takeaway has always been let’s see this group healthy. I think we’ve seen it enough,” Griffin told reporters. “I think we saw it for segments of time well enough to understand that we’ve got a lot of work to do. Because it’s a historically good Western Conference, there are teams that didn’t make the playoffs that are going to get radically better this offseason. We need to do the same. I think you’ll see a real sense of urgency from all of us to do that.”

We’re now hearing a bit more on Ingram and some drama. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the forward and head coach Willie Green had some words during that first-round series against Oklahoma City. It had to do with usage and the offense not running through Ingram.

Charania noted that the “conversation” has carried over into the offseason. With Green’s job likely safe, one now has to wonder whether New Orleans is going to move Ingram. It remains to be seen whether he’s a fit with Zion Williamson, who will also be the subject of trade rumors this summer.

  • Brandon Ingram stats (2023-24): 20.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.7 APG, 49% shooting, 36% 3-point

New Orleans posted a solid 49-33 record in the regular season It was then able to make it out of the NBA Play-In Tournament before being swept by OKC. It’s a series that saw Ingram struggle (14.3 PPG, 35% shooting) after missing extensive time during the regular year due to a knee injury.

Related: Updated NBA trade rumors

Brandon Ingram trade scenarios from the New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Ingram is still only 26 years old. Since coming over from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Anthony Davis blockbuster ahead of the 2019-20 season, he’s morphed into one of the better wings in the game. That span has seen Ingram average 23.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists on 49% shooting.

There is going to be a nice amount of interest in his services shoud New Orleans put the forward on the block this summer. Here’s a look at three ideal landing spots.

Philadelphia 76ers

Front office head Daryl Morey made it clear that the 76ers will undergo a roster overhaul this summer after losing in the first round to the New York Knicks. They are also expected to have north of $55 million to spend under the NBA salary cap. This means that Philadelphia can take on salaries in what would likely be a three-team trade.

Other reports indicate that Philadelphia will be looking for wing help during the summer. Tobias Harris is as good as gone. Kelly Oubre Jr. is not the answer. With a ton of draft picks, Philadelphia could pull off a deal of this ilk. It’s all about getting a third team involved in order for New Orleans to acquire what it needs for Ingram.

Related: Brandon Ingram and the 50-best NBA players of 2024

Miami Heat

We’re not 100% what Miami’s plans are after losing to Boston in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Front office head Pat Riley would not commit to even bringing Jimmy Butler back for another season.

“If you’re not on the court playing against Boston, if you’re not on the court playing against the New York Knicks, you should keep your mouth shut in your criticism of those teams,” Riley said of Butler in his season-ending press conference.

Assuming Butler does return, he’ll need more help in order for Miami to be considered legitimate title contenders. The Heat could entice New Orleans with Tyler Herro and other pieces to make it work.

Golden State Warriors

New Orleans Pelicans' Brandon Ingram
Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We know that Golden State is going to be active this summer after missing out on the playoffs for the third time in five seasons. General manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Co. owe it to Stephen Curry to build a contender as the four-time champion enters the twilight of his career.

Wing will obviously be a target area. The Warriors have already been linked to a reunion with Kevin Durant. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins’ future in Northern California is completely up in the air. Whether it’s adding a third team to take on Wiggins’ deal or offering up young forward Jonathan Kuminga, expect the Warriors to be in on Brandon Ingram trade talks.

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