Free Agency Won’t Deter Ingram From Playing In Restart

Top restricted free agent Brandon Ingram never considered sitting out the remainder of the season, according to USA Today’s Mark Medina.

The Pelicans‘ star forward was enjoying a breakout season prior to the stoppage of play in March, averaging 24.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 4.3 APG in his fourth NBA campaign after being included in the blockbuster Anthony Davis swap. He averaged 18.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 3.0 APG in his third and final season with the Lakers.

New Orleans will try to hold off five other teams during the restart and secure the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth. Ingram felt that he couldn’t let his teammates down despite a big payday looming this offseason.

“I didn’t look at it as if I had a choice of going or not. My teammates knew that I didn’t question it or anything. I just wanted to play basketball at the end of the day,” Ingram said. “I’m going to do it and let my teammates know I’m there 110%. I have to be there. It wasn’t a question.”

The Pelicans will extend a $9,481,458 qualifying offer to Ingram to make him a restricted free agent. He’s unquestionably the top RFA on the market, though few teams have significant salary cap space. Ingram could also gamble and sign the QA, then become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Ingram isn’t ready to declare that he’ll stick around New Orleans long-term.

“That is definitely a question that will be answered after the season. But how I feel right now? I feel really good about this team,” he said. “I like where I’m at. But that’s a decision that is going to have a lot of factors after the season.”

Ingram does see a bright future for the team and is excited to find out what his teammates can accomplish on the Orlando campus.

“We’re very excited. We’re building some momentum into getting better each and every day,” Ingram said. “Of course we haven’t reached where we want to go. It’s a long ways away. But I think we’re getting steps and steps closer to where we want to get to be at.”

Ingram’s last season in Los Angeles was cut short after team doctors discovered he had a blood clot called deep venous thrombosis. The Pelicans declined to give him a rookie scale extension last year in part because of health concerns.

He left no doubt about his health this season while making his first All-Star appearance.

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9 thoughts on “Free Agency Won’t Deter Ingram From Playing In Restart

  1. Jeff Zanghi

    If you’re the Pelicans you have to do whatever you can to resign him. Or at the very least if he really doesn’t want to stay – then they need to work out a sign and trade to get something for him. It’ll be interesting to see if they can accomplish anything when play resumes. People forget that despite them being a “mediocre” team record wise — they’ve only had Zion for 19 games. And obviously (if he’s still healthy and as productive as he was prior to the shutdown) they’re an entirely different – and more dangerous team – with him in the lineup.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Memphis is going to have a hard time making the playoff with both the Blazers and Pelicans breathing down their necks for the #8 seed.

      • the dude

        Hey man, I hope russ and the beard score 50 each every game and sweep the restart. Wont happen, and I am a die hard celtics then a solid raps fan (canada) but you’re a die hard rockets fan and I love them two, harden is my face player right now, I just wanted to say that would be the most balling result of this season.

        Even better if they had a solid 50 each every game, and no one else scored, but won 100 to whatever every time.

    • x%sure

      Dangerous yes, but not necessarily a winner. the Pels will have room though after Jrue turns 32 or so. In the meantime they have cheap youngsters. They can do it.

    • the dude

      Ok why do Knicks fans have this air of entitlement that Lakers fans usually have? I mean, Lakers fans didnt swing and miss as much as the Knicks do, thought everyone was gonna sign with them, and eventually got Bron and AD. But that was cuz Bron wanted to expand his out of ball business and he did kind of help force the AD trade.

      From what I’ve seen on here Knicks are getting Booker, Beal, Ingram, Aaron Grodon, Dipo, Rozier, Horford, Simmons, Embiid, Giannis, Ice Trae, Maple Curry and the ghost of Wilt Chamberlain. Settle down.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Knicks should offer max. What you got to lose. Pels youngsters look good. They move Holiday. They have young deep team. Ingram will stay and take next step with this team. He’s still young and after 4-5 yrs. Can still get huge contract. He and Zion with Lonzo. Is a nice mix. Jrue can help PG starving teams. Imagine him on Sixers. Magic could use him. To lead their young group. They could do something with Vucevic. Imagine Vucevic at Center on Pels …. I like Pelicans, Grizz their young talent looks good. They play the right way. Like Larry Brown use to say.

  3. the dude

    Pelicans have Zion, Ingram, JJ, Hart, Jrue, Jahlil, Favors, Hayes, NAW and Melli. They have the talent there that has the potential to click at the right time and could surprise everyone.

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