New Orleans Pelicans: Should Brandon Ingram play at shooting guard?

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Aaron Gordon
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans: A wing is necessary

Big wings are the most sought-after players in the league right now.

Every team is looking for someone who can match up with LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, or Jimmy Butler in the playoffs. Look at Detroit—they gave Jerami Grant a 3 year/$60 million deal this offseason because he can play with the big boys on both ends. New Orleans needs to find a player like that.

Ingram was a capable defender during his time in Los Angeles but has been a little disappointed on that end of the floor since coming to New Orleans. Now, would I rather have the version of BI that averaged 13.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists with decent defense or the one putting up 23.9/5.8/4.4 while being a slight negative on D? It’s no contest: the New Orleans version of Ingram wins that contest.

However, as a shooting guard next to Lonzo and a more defensive-minded wing, Ingram would be hidden more effectively on defense while keeping up his All-Star level offense. In this new setup, Ingram would have a huge height advantage over most two-guards. This would force opponents into tough choices on offense as Ingram has the length to contest any shooter he’d defend.

There are a few intriguing options for the Pels front office to look at as we near the trade deadline to fill this vacated spot in the lineup.

Related Story. Where the Pelicans youngsters stand into the all-star break. light

My favorite is Aaron Gordon. I just can’t give up on a player like Gordon. At 6-foot-8 with springs for legs, many fans may think of him as just a high-flying dunker. That undersells all that Gordon brings to the table.

A plus defender, Gordon would give New Orleans a big mobile body to throw at the star wings in the Western Conference without worrying about tiring out Ingram or Zion. On offense, Gordon has improved his outside shot and offers complimentary playmaking to a lineup. The three-ball got away from Gordon last year (30.8 percent on 3.8 attempts) but this season he’s up to 36.9 percent on 4.4 attempts. I trust that kind of shooting more than Bledsoe.

There are a couple of complicating factors to any Gordon deal, however. The first and most important is the injury status of Gordon. on Feb 1 he was sidelined with an ankle injury that will keep him out until mid-March at the earliest. This is another in a long line of injuries for Gordon, will New Orleans want to take a risk on an injury risk who would need to be a crucial part of the rotation?

The second factor in a Gordon deal is the contract. With just a year and a half left on his current deal, this isn’t exactly a rental but New Orleans wouldn’t be getting someone guaranteed to stick around for the long haul. That would change what assets the Pels would include in a deal but the Magic’s ask would start with either Kira Lewis Jr or Nickeil Alexander-Walker, most likely the former. Would fans be alright giving up on a lottery pick rookie already?