Pelicans Reportedly Not Willing To Give Ingram Max Extension

The Pelicans are entering a critical offseason, with former All-Star forward Brandon Ingram entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him $36MM in 2024/25.

According to Christian Clark of The Times-Picayune (subscription required), New Orleans tentatively plans to supplement the trio of Ingram, CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson with “better-fitting pieces.”

However, despite having an overall net rating of +4.6 during the regular season, the Pelicans were outscored when their three top scorers shared the court together, Clark writes, and there is a chance at least one of them could be traded.

As of July 1, Ingram will be eligible a four-year, maximum-salary extension projected to be worth $200MM+. While the Pelicans are “open” to the possibility of tacking more years onto his current deal, they are not willing to give him a full max contract, sources tell Clark.

Clark compares Ingram to Zach LaVine, noting that both players have put up strong individual statistics on offense but have missed extended time with injuries throughout their careers. Chicago tried — unsuccessfully — to move LaVine’s max deal during the season, and will reportedly try again this offseason.

According to Clark, if the Pelicans can’t work out an extension with Ingram, they “likely will trade him.” That aligns with previous reporting that Ingram is the “most likely” Pelican to be on the move this summer. Clark points to the Cavaliers and Hawks as teams that might be interested in the 26-year-old.

Clark wonders if New Orleans might be able to acquire Evan Mobley or Jarrett Allen from Cleveland for Ingram. I don’t see any world where the Cavs trade Mobley for Ingram, but Allen isn’t far-fetched. Still, Cleveland has its own upcoming financial squeeze, and adding Ingram would only further complicate that situation — Allen is owed far less money ($40MM) over the next two seasons.

The NBA draft lottery is today, but the Pelicans won’t be impacted by that drawing. They do, however, have until June 1 to decide whether they want to keep the No. 17 overall pick (via the Lakers) or instead acquire the Lakers’ unprotected 2025 first-round pick. As of now, Clark hears that New Orleans is inclined to defer the selection, though that isn’t set in stone.

If the Pels do keep the No. 17 pick, Clark says they would likely flip it in a trade. New Orleans also controls the No. 21 overall pick, and Clark is highly skeptical the team would actually keep two first-rounders on a roster that is trying to win right now.

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