Brandon Ingram‘s 2018/19 season came to an early end in March when he was diagnosed with a blood clot that required thoracic outlet decompression surgery. The health issue derailed perhaps the best stretch of Ingram’s career, as he had averaged 22.5 PPG on .558/.406/.748 shooting in the 17 games leading up to the diagnosis.
However, on Media Day in New Orleans, Ingram told reporters – including Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link) – that he’s no longer taking medication for his blood clot issue and expects to be healthy going forward.
That’s good news for the young forward and for the Pelicans, who could offer Ingram a rookie scale extension before an October 21 deadline. Head of basketball operations David Griffin acknowledged that possibility on Monday, but said New Orleans wants to see what Ingram looks like on the court with the team before engaging in any extension talks (Twitter link via Will Guillory of The Athletic).
Although the Pelicans should get the opportunity to see Ingram in action in some preseason games, the extension deadline falls before their regular season opener, so it would be a surprise if Griffin and the Pels seriously attempt to lock up the newly-acquired forward long-term before he reaches free agency in 2020.
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- Longtime Grizzlies executive John Hollinger has transitioned back into the media world, announcing this week that he has joined The Athletic. When Memphis shook up its front office in the spring, Hollinger was re-assigned to an advisory role, but he has apparently decided he’d rather return to his media roots — he formerly worked for ESPN, where he developed the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) stat.
- After saying on Monday that he wasn’t ready to fully participate in training camp, Kyle Anderson reversed course and was a full go today, per head coach Taylor Jenkins (Twitter link via Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian). The Grizzlies‘ forward is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
- Veteran Mavericks guard J.J. Barea suffered an Achilles tear less than 10 months ago, but he says he “feels great” and doesn’t expect many limitations with the preseason around the corner, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. “I’m going to go,” Barea said. “Depends how I feel [if I] take some shortcuts here and there, but I’m going to try to get ready like normal.”
- With newly-renewed championship aspirations, an expiring contract, and a former MVP to incorporate into his lineup, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni may be facing his biggest challenge yet this season. Kelly Iko of The Athletic explores how D’Antoni is preparing for it.