NBA rumors: Pels have every intention to keep Brandon Ingram

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.

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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.”
Ramona Shelburne: Regarding Lakers-Spurs discussions. Things have been in the conceptual lane thus far. Ingram’s name has been in discussions but more as a player Spurs covet.
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January 27, 2021 | 8:36 pm EST Update
Attempts to grow closer as a team are confronting a world in which proximity to teammates is both dangerous and prohibited. As a result, NBA players and staffs have been reduced to distant conversations through face masks, and a road life dominated by individual screens rather than collective camaraderie. “The reality is that you can’t do stuff like that anymore,” Haslem said. “Those opportunities don’t exist.” In Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner’s words: “It’s a bubble within a bubble.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
STARTING AN AVERAGE day on the road, an NBA player must now wake up as early as 7:30 a.m. to be tested before a practice or shootaround, depending on the market. He then returns to his room to catch another hour or so of sleep, or to busy himself with a video game, an episode of a series or maybe a FaceTime session with family back home. A couple of hours later, he reports downstairs to board the team bus. The wait in the lobby is traditionally a time when players schmooze and hang out, but with everyone at least 6 feet apart and masked, the vibe has taken on an edgy quality.
Pre-practice strategy sessions at the hotel can no longer last more than 10 minutes. Shootaround or practice offer some normalcy, but breakfast back at the hotel in a ballroom, typically a communal ritual where players and staff yuck it up at tables for eight, now operates as a grab-and-go. Want some fresh air? Forget about taking a walk outside, even though the CDC and other leading medical institutions regard outdoor activities with the appropriate precautions as low risk.
This season, that ground rarely extends much past the door to a hotel room. The Spurs’ custom on the plane has been effectively prohibited. Under the new guidelines, players must sit next to the same guys they sit next to on the bench during games. On an off night, it’s dinners for one in the room — a far cry from the jovial dining out experience in a road city. “I think that’s hard — having options taken away,” Holiday said. “You might go to your favorite city, and have a favorite food spot that people might not know about. And that’s something that you can bring to the table, something you share, and [this season] you can’t really share that.”
January 27, 2021 | 6:50 pm EST Update
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