Would execs rather build around Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram?

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /

When it comes to the question of Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram, the New Orleans Pelicans are lucky not to have to choose.

The two Pels’ stars might be the best young duo in the NBA, and if they can both stay healthy next season, there is a good chance that they will be the top-scoring teammates in the league.

New Orleans has both of them locked into contracts and is building around them both, adding complementary players that fit with their skillsets.

A recent HoopsHype poll asked NBA executives which young player they would most want to build a team around, the same question they had asked back in January, when both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram were on the list. Zion came in 7th and BI in 11th back in January, but what about on the most recent poll?

Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram: Who would execs rather build around?

Here are the results of the most-recent poll in order:

  • Luka Doncic
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Ja Morant
  • Evan Mobley
  • Anthony Edwards
  • Zion Williamson
  • Scottie Barnes
  • LaMelo Ball
  • Trae Young
  • Darius Garland
  • Cade Cunningham
  • Jalen Green
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • Tyrese Haliburton

There are some surprises this time around, as Zion actually moved up a spot after missing all of last season, and Ingram was left off the list entirely.

Several players moved back or off the list due to the influx of guys from the 2021 NBA Draft class, which is starting to look like an all-timer.

You can’t really argue with the first three guys on the list, but after that, I think you could easily make an argument for Zion being ahead of any of the rest when healthy. Of course, that matters, which is why I was surprised to see him jump up on the list.

I definitely think you can argue that Brandon Ingram should be back on here given that he just carried the Pelicans to the playoffs without Zion and has proven to be a more reliable player overall.

But execs are going to shoot for hope and high ceilings over steady play, though it’s hard to imagine anyone taking Tyrese Haliburton over Ingram in real life if they were starting a team from scratch.

Ingram continues to be one of the most underrated players in the NBA, while Zion continues to tantalize with his promise.

But I think the question of who you would rather build around is a lot closer than it was last season, despite what these 15 executives say.

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