Amid an underwhelming performance through his first three seasons in L.A., Brandon Ingram suffered blood clots that forced him to sit for months.
Needless to say, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding Ingram’s future — even after his trade to the Pelicans.
When he arrived the team resisted handing him a max extension right away, and wanted to see the young forward could do before committing to him long-term. Though the 2019-20 season came to an abrupt end, they’ve seen what they need to see.
According to Will Guillory of The Athletic, the first time All-Star will be seeking nothing short of a max contract this free-agency.
Unless something shocking from now until this summer, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Pelicans will be signing Ingram to a max contract this summer that’ll pay him somewhere around $167 million over five years. That’s a large chunk of change, and one Ingram has earned this year with his stellar play coming off of a scary medical situation this time last year.
According to Ingram, though, this is a much different line of thinking from the team, who was reluctant to offer the same earlier this season.
“They wanted to know if I was going to be extremely healthy, if something was going to come back,” Ingram told Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “Once I figured out the reason why they didn’t want to do the extension, we didn’t go any further with it. I knew it was not going to be the number we wanted.”
Ingram bet on himself, and it has paid dividends. After making his first All-Star team, and earning national recognition, he will be set to earn over $150 million when he and the Pelicans sit down to talk.
In 56 games this campaign, he has averaged 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.