Brandon Ingram finished his first year with the New Orleans Pelicans, and he had an impressive season. After starting his career with the LA Lakers, Ingram has become one of the league’s top young stars.
Ingram is now a restricted free agent, and the Pelicans will do what they can to ensure that Ingram stays with the organization. At the end of the 2019-20 season, Ingram expressed interest in returning to the Pelicans. With the way he has performed, he is due for a big contract, and that could happen during free agency.
Brandon Ingram displayed a lot of talent playing with the Lakers
After spending a year at Duke, where he averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and two assists in 36 games, Ingram was ready for the NBA. The Lakers selected him with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA draft. During his rookie season, he appeared in 79 games and made 40 starts. He averaged 9.4 points, four rebounds, and 2.1 assists and was named to the All-Rookie Second Team.
In his second season, Ingram became a full-time starter for the Lakers, and he showed a lot of improvement from his rookie season. Ingram showed NBA potential during his time at Duke, and he displayed that talent when he entered the league. At a young age, he became a top player for a historic franchise. Ingram averaged 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists during his second year and developed into a top player for the Lakers.
Though the Lakers were struggling as a team during Ingram’s time there, he continued to develop into a young star. During the 2017-18 season, Ingram averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and three assists. The Lakers made a smart move in selecting Ingram in the draft, but unfortunately for Ingram, his time in LA did not last long.
Brandon Ingram continued to play at a high-level when he joined the Pelicans
After the 2017-18 season, the Lakers made a big move during the offseason. In July of 2019, the Lakers traded Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter, two first-round picks, a first-round pick swap, and cash to the New Orleans Pelicans for All-Star Anthony Davis. Just like that Ingram’s time in LA was over.
Ingram quickly adapted to his new team in New Orleans and became one of the team’s top players. The Pelicans were filled with a lot of young talent as they selected Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Ingram did not waste any time becoming a leader for the Pelicans. He was selected to the All-Star team for the first time in his career, and he led the team in scoring, averaging 23.8 points. His performance allowed him to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
Brandon Ingram is expected to receive a big contract during free agency
Ever since he entered the league, Ingram has played at a high-level, and he has the potential to be an All-Star throughout the remainder of his career. With his contract being up, the Pelicans need to make a move to keep their talented All-Star. In an article from lonzowire.usatoday.com, it stated that Will Guillory from The Athletic appeared on ‘The Pure Hoops’ and talked about Ingram’s future.
“As far as BI goes, I mean I heard basically throughout the entire year that it was just a matter of time before they gave him his big contract,” Guillory said. “I think they feel really good about his fit with this team and the growth he showed last year. As a shooter, as the guy who was willing to take on the responsibility of being that No. 1 scorer, the guy who has that kind of burden every night, I think they love his fit next to Zion.”
“So I think he’s going to get a huge contract. And they’re going to take care of that really quickly.” Ingram will continue to develop into a top player as his career progresses. With the young talent that the Pelicans have, Ingram will continue to be the star there if he remains with the team. He deserves to get a big contract this offseason, and it could happen soon.
Stats Courtesy of Basketball Reference