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Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram’s offer sheet ‘ready’ to be matched

Brandon Ingram, Pelicans

Brandon Ingram is an impending restricted free agent. But don’t expect to see the 22-year-old All Star with his third team next season. The New Orleans Pelicans are fully prepared to match any offer for Brandon Ingram. Ingram is perhaps the most coveted player in an otherwise shallow free agent class.

“The potential restricted free agent market dried up with contract extensions for Buddy Hield, Domantas Sabonis, Jaylen Brown, Dillon Brooks and others this season,” according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.“The one restricted free agent with appeal is Brandon Ingram. Multiple sources expect the New Orleans Pelicans to match any offer sheet. So, that path, one that changed with the Drummond addition, is no longer available.”

New Orleans can ink Ingram to something around five years and $167 million. The Athletic’s William Guillory called the move “almost a foregone conclusion” in his January mailbag.

Ingram was having a major breakout campaign in his first season in New Orleans when the league suspended play in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. He’s leading the Pelicans at 24.3 points per game, to go with 6.3 rebounds and much-improved 59.0% TS. This is despite an uptick in usage from last season (23.2 to 28.2)—all good for 4.9 Win Shares in 2019-20, easily a career best.

Pelicans general manager David Griffin actually went on record as saying that Ingram’s playmaking ability is very underrated.

“Brandon Ingram’s play-making ability is vastly under-rated and will be a lethal piece for us moving forward,” New Orleans GM tweeted.

He was selected to his first career All-Star game. He is also one of the presumed front-runners for the league’s Most Improved Player award.