Brandon Ingram named as potential upgrade for the Golden State Warriors

Jan 10, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)
Jan 10, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday night, the New Orleans Pelicans season came to an end at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The über competitive game one ended up being an anomaly in a series that ended up being a four game laugher. Oklahoma City was faster, more prepared, more talented, and just a significantly better outfit than the Zion-less Pelicans.

With the Pelicans on their way to Galveston to lick their wounds, questions abound for a Pelicans franchise with a limited ceiling. The trio of Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, and Brandon Ingram will never compete for a Larry O'Brien Trophy in New Orleans. The Pelicans took their big swing in trading for McCollum to complete their "big three," but McCollum, Williamson, and Ingram maxed out at a "meh three".

Changes are coming in the Big Easy. Williamson is an unquestioned superstar, Trey Murphy III and Herb Jones have developed into elite two-way role players, and everything else about the franchise is a question mark.

Willie Green has his issues. Starting center Jonas Valanciunas is an unrestricted free agent. CJ McCollum is destined to be in trade talks. Key bench player Naji Marshall is an unrestricted free agent. Former all-star wing Brandon Ingram is entering the last year of his 5 year, 158,253,000 million dollar deal, and he'll surely be shopped this summer.

Marcus Thompson II, staff writer for The Athletic, tabbed Ingram as a potential trade target for the Golden State Warriors.

"He’ll be 27 this year, and he’s had a rough postseason. He’s super talented, a 6-foot-8 forward who can create his own shot. Not a great 3-point shooter and mostly lives in the midrange. But a good playmaker who can handle the ball and pass. The Warriors would have to believe he’s got a lot of untapped potential they can harvest, which is not unreasonable."

Marcus Thompson II

The Pelicans and the Warriors are in similar spots. Franchises firmly stuck in the middle of the Western Conference without a clear path to contention. They took different paths to get there, but there are parallels between the two franchises current standing.

What could a potential deal look like? In any case, Chris Paul would need to be in the deal. His $30 million expiring contract is a necessary component for the teams to make a trade. A reunion between Chris Paul and the Pelicans would be a full-circle moment for the player and franchise.

A package of Paul, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Jonathan Kuminga could be interesting if the Pelicans are interested in playing more small ball. Jackson-Davis and Kuminga would enter a log jam on the wing behind Herb Jones and Trey Murphy III, but both could play a small ball four or five alongside Zion in a high-flying, up tempo offense.

The Warriors are a tough match for a potential trade, but stay tuned to Pelican Debrief for all rumors that surround the future of Pelicans wing Brandon Ingram.