New Orleans Pelicans vice-president David Griffin has revealed the plans the Pels have for their players, including Brandon Ingram, who has become their biggest figure during the first days of the season.
Griffin admitted that the New Orleans Pelicans have “every intention” of keeping fourth-year forward Ingram long-term despite quickly moving away from extension talks.
Ingram has seen how his career has changed for the better, considering he had missed the latter part of his third season with a blood clot that could have put his entire NBA career at risk.
At full strength, the Pelicans have a talented mix of veteran players and young prospects. Jrue Holiday is under contract potentially through the 2021-22 season. JJ Redick signed a two-year deal last summer. Brandon Ingram, 22, is a restricted free agent next summer, but Griffin told The Undefeated that the Pelicans have every intention of keeping him long term.
The Los Angeles Lakers traded him to NOLA before he could show he was good to go again, but it looks like he’s found his best form with the Pelicans. So far he’s averaging a team-leading 25.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game.
Ingram has increased his value during the first days of competition, and allowing him to become a restricted free agent will cost the Pelicans when it comes to matching other teams’ payday.
Seeing how good he’s playing this season, Ingram won’t settle with a little contract, as he’s shown he’s ready to be a star in the league with all the tools he has to offer.
New Orleans has a big chance to have a young core consisting of No. 1 overall selection Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Ingram. The season hasn’t started the best way for them, but the Pels have shown some interesting things that make fans believe they can actually be a competitive team for many years to come.