Southwest Notes: Ingram, Mills, McLemore, Johnson

Pelicans All-Star forward Brandon Ingram said on Monday that New Orleans will number among his “top choices” in free agency during the 2020 offseason, according to Andrew Lopez of (Twitter link).

Ingram, 22, will be a restricted free agent this summer. Considering his growth with the team, whatever offer is tendered to Ingram by another club would almost certainly be matched by the Pelicans. Ingram hailed his current NBA home as a “special place with a lot of really, really good people.”

A 2-4 showing thus far in the NBA’s Orlando campus has doomed the 30-40 Pelicans to miss the playoffs this season, but with Ingram and promising rookie Zion Williamson established as the team’s two cornerstones, they look to be an attractive destination for free agent players.

Here’s more out of the NBA’s Southwest Division:

  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has addressed the fact that point guard Patty Mills has not played much during the NBA’s season restart in Orlando, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link).  “Might as well stay whole and take a rest,” Popovich said of Mills. “(He’s) kind of like a humming bird. He plays at such a high level of competitiveness, I’d rather have him whole for next season.”
  • Rockets guard Ben McLemore, who has had a stellar showing for Houston during the team’s Orlando tenure, has just rejoined Klutch Sports for representation, per Ben DuBose of USA Today. McLemore’s previous agent was Jarinn Akana of Dynasty Sports Management. McLemore is currently signed to a two-year veteran’s minimum contract with a team option for the 2020/21 season. Given his recent play, it seems probable that Houston will retain him.
  • Spurs rookie forward Keldon Johnson has started to come into his own during the NBA’s Orlando seeding games, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Johnson, drafted with the No. 29 pick in 2019 out of Kentucky, has emerged as a rotation player for San Antonio during the season restart. He notched career highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds in a crucial victory over the Rockets today. “He’s a high energy guy,” Popovich said of the rookie. “Very physical. Very competitive. Very coachable.”
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10 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Ingram, Mills, McLemore, Johnson

  1. Sillivan

    If Ingram gets max contract he could turn out to be negative trade value next 2 yr

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Chris Paul has a negative trade value with his age and durability issues, despite staying healthy for the first time in years with OKC. Why would Ingram, a young promising talent, have negative trade value?

      • doug.daniel243

        Well he does have underlying health issues like blood clots that pop up every so often unfortunately but I think if he’s on the court he’s a premium talent. Only goes negative if he can’t stay healthy.

  2. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Picking up McLemore’s $2.3M team option is pretty much a no-brainer.

  3. Sillivan

    Only two teams plan to make 4 years max to Ingram
    Knicks and Hawks

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Love to have him. NO ain’t letting him go. Unless he forces trade. He can play out his contract one more yr. Then go where he wants. I don’t see that. After LA I think he’s happy in NO. He can sign for 4 yrs. I believe Zion could be trouble. His weight will always be an issue. It’s why they will keep Ingram. NO has picks and solid young core. They are team of future IMO. Get Zion a cook lol. What are they waiting for. The guy is almost 300 LBs now lol.

  5. x%sure

    I get Tazza’s point, that both Ingram and ZW need to be primary to the ball, but it’s hard to picture NOLA not matching. Also hard to picture not matching for DerrickFavors, but they have to choose somewhere and they drafted Hayes high.

    Ingram may pass more when his salary drive is over. He could disrupt Atlanta, or push the young stars. I would not risk it. He would get along with Thibs probably.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Favors not worth money. They can get a big cheaper. I think Hayes is solid talent. Still young and raw. He’s going to need time. If I was NO I would make offer for Horford. Can get him cheap. And he is solid vet for young core. Especially for Hayes. He needs good coaching and mentor.

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