New Orleans Pelicans admit Brandon Ingram trade is possible for 1 specific reason

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

The New Orleans Pelicans went big with their first-round pick in the NBA Draft Wednesday night, adding former Baylor center Yves Missi to the mix. It was certainly a need for front office head David Griffin and Co.

However, Wednesday’s action in Brooklyn did not include the anticipated move. Several reports had indicated that New Orleans was going to trade star wing Brandon Ingram at some point in the first round. If the team had selected a player at that position, rumors would have heated up even more.

Griffin spoke to media after the first round on Wednesday night. He addressed Ingram’s situation in a detailed manner. The respected player personnel guy also seemed to hint that a trade is likely moving forward this summer. Why? The finances of it all.

“Brandon wants to stay here,” Griffin said of Brandon Ingram, via Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “He believes in what we are building. That is meaningful to us. That’s meaningful to him. That’s meaningful to his agent. At the same time, there is a financial reality that we all deal with. I think we’re excited about Brandon. We know he’s excited about us. Usually, those things yield good results one way or the other.”

Outside of some perceived drama between Ingram and head coach Willie Green last season, finances could dictate a trade of Ingram this summer.

Related: New Orleans Pelicans expected to trade for All-Star point guard

Brandon Ingram contract and potential trade from the New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans' Brandon Ingram

Ingram, 26, is set to enter the final year of his current contract at roughly $36 million. He’ll hit free agency next summer.

The All-Star forward is eligible to sign a four-year, $208 million max contract this summer. It’s something the Pelicans don’t seem willing to offer up.

For Ingram, the belief is that he’s earned this huge pay day.

  • Brandon Ingram stats (2019-24): 23.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5.2 APG, 47% shooting

Hence, the issue in New Orleans. Zion Williamson and C.J. McCollum have combined cap hits of $70 million next season. The team is not going to go into the luxury tax. Trading Ingram for assets this summer seems to make the most sense. Griffin hinted at that during his presser Wednesday night.

Read more: Latest New Orleans Pelicans news and rumors

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