What happens with New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Brandon Ingram in restricted free agency is more divisive. Most executives believe Ingram isn’t worth a max contract, which makes his future difficult to predict. “I wonder if [Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin] will hardball [Ingram] and say, ‘Get an offer,'” one executive asked. “Where is he getting it from?”
The team is high on Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker moving forward. It also doesn’t have a ton of cap flexibility with the expected restricted free agency offer sheets coming Ingram’s way. League sources are expecting his play this year to earn him max money in offer sheets this summer.
At full strength, the Pelicans have a talented mix of veteran players and young prospects. Jrue Holiday is under contract potentially through the 2021-22 season. JJ Redick signed a two-year deal last summer. Brandon Ingram, 22, is a restricted free agent next summer, but Griffin told The Undefeated that the Pelicans have every intention of keeping him long term.
You didn’t come to terms with New Orleans before this season on a contract extension, making you a restricted free agent next offseason. How are you taking that situation? Brandon Ingram: I grew up playing basketball. I never thought about how much money I was going to get in the league. I always just said, ‘I just want to play basketball.’ I think everything is going to handle itself out. Me and Griff [David Griffin, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations] have had conversations and I just came off a major injury that could have taken me out for the rest of my life, which was a blood clot. It’s a decision for him. ‘Are we going to do this at the right number? Are we going to just throw some extra money and say be here? Or are we going to do it the right way, and say let the thing linger around or take over a year or whatever time it seems to get fully healthy?’
Andrew Lopez: Pelicans opting to get a better look at Ingram when healthy before making a deal. Asked Ingram about this yesterday and he smiled and said: “Me and Griff talk. Me and my agent talk. We have good conversations.”
January 22, 2021 | 9:39 pm EST Update
January 22, 2021 | 8:53 pm EST Update
Michael Singer: Michael Malone on if coaching Jokic adds pressure: “I look at it as a blessing. How many guys have the opp. to coach a great player, a high character person, on & off the court, a guy that every day when he comes to the facility, is in a good mood. There’s not many superstars.”