Pelicans: Why Pels’ fans shouldn’t take Brandon Ingram for granted

The New Orleans Pelicans have something special in Brandon Ingram and they shouldn’t take him for granted.

We know all the reasons we should love him on the court, as he is an under-25 All Star who is already one of the best pure scorers in the NBA.

I thought Ingram’s season was overlooked, mostly due to the ascension of superstar teammate Zion Williamson as well as the Pelicans’ lack of team success.

Ingram finished the season averaging 23.8 points, 4.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds, which should have been enough to get him another All-Star bid, but there are other reasons that fans should appreciate B.I., namely that he stayed in New Orleans.

New Orleans Pelicans: Free agency has shown just how rare Brandon Ingram is

Reports about NBA free agency have been emerging that do not look great for the New Orleans Pelicans.

They struck out on Kyle Lowry, who chose the greener pastures of Miami even though they don’t have a player anywhere near Zion Williamson’s caliber. This was to be expected, as Lowry is getting older and wanted the best chance to win.

But reports have also emerged that Tim Hardaway Jr. turned down significantly more money to stay with the Mavericks rather than come to New Orleans. That one hurts.

When mid-level free agents are turning you down to take less money, it’s not a great look for the organization.

That is why Brandon Ingram’s max deal should be appreciated. Yes, he got paid a lot of money, but he could have gotten that money from anyone, as teams were lined up to empty their coffers for a young All-Star who has not yet reached his prime.

Some fans have concerns over his defense or his fit with Zion, but considering the Pelicans’ record at attracting free agents, we should appreciate the guy who wanted to stay and make it work.

Given that all of the big time free agents have snubbed New Orleans so far, Ingram’s signing looks even bigger, as he is the first step to keeping Zion Williamson for the long term and potentially attracting future free agents.

The key is winning, and if the New Orleans Pelicans start doing it, more free agents will come to play with Zion and B.I.

But Ingram was the first step to that and fans shouldn’t take him for granted.