Pelicans star Brandon Ingram teases mindset going into free agency
Ingram, who’s set to be a restricted free agent, addressed his upcoming free agency on Tuesday and showed his love to New Orleans:
Brandon Ingram said he New Orleans will be one of his “top choices” when it comes to free agency. Added NOLA is a “special place with a lot of really, really good people.”
BI is a restricted free agent this offseason.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) August 11, 2020
While the Pelicans failed to make it to the playoffs because of their lackluster performance in the bubble at 2-4, Ingram thinks the franchise has brighter days ahead:
“I think we’ll take (this experience) next year and we’ll be fine. We’ll have no problem trying to make the playoffs or whatever. We’ll be fine.”
If the Pelicans and Brandon Ingram don’t agree on a new deal before he becomes a restricted free agent, he can sign an offer sheet with another team. New Orleans would then be able to match any offer.
Ingram was drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016. After playing for the Lakers for three seasons, he was traded to the Pelicans in a three-team deal that sent him and fellow Lakers guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart to New Orleans, with Anthony Davis heading to Los Angeles.
The Pelicans forward has been one of the breakout stars of the 2019-2020 season. Ingram has managed to rack up impressive numbers this season with 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. He’s also shooting a stellar 46.3% from the field and 39.1% on 3-pointers. The 22-year-old made his first All-Star Game in February and is a finalist for Most Improved Player along with Luka Doncic and Bam Adebayo.
There’s no question about how crucial Brandon Ingram is to the Pelicans, but there are likely other teams interested. If New Orleans allows him to get to restricted free agency and he signs a max offer sheet, would it get matched? Or would the Pelicans let him walk? This situation will be one to watch this offseason.