5 Brandon Ingram trades the Pelicans should consider

The Pelicans want to upgrade their roster and must take a hard look at these Brandon Ingram trades.
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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The New Orleans Pelicans are at a crossroads after being swept by the Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. Jonas Valanciunas heads toward free agency and re-signing him will put the Pels near or over the luxury tax. New Orleans has never paid it, and this roster has made the playoffs just twice in six years and hasn’t won a series. Changes must be made.

Pelicans lead executive David Griffin made their desire to upgrade this offseason clear in his end of season press conference. They plan to be aggressive in doing it. It could mean adding pieces around Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and C.J. McCollum or making a blockbuster trade. Anything should be on the table for New Orleans.

What if Griffin decides to trade Ingram? He is not getting a star in return for McCollum, but he might for BI. There are not many 6’8 guys with his scoring and playmaking chops. Ingram has just one year left on his deal, so declining an extension could put him on the market. The Pelicans must ponder these deals as they look to improve their talent and roster fit.

5. Thunder cash in some of their assets

Oklahoma City demolished New Orleans in the opening round of the playoffs, but the Thunder are still primed to make a blockbuster move. They have cap space and are already contenders. Does OKC take the shot at adding the piece that puts them over the top?

The Thunder have more draft picks than they can put on their roster, so expect moves to come. Sam Presti may save their assets for a legit superstar but could be convinced to take a fringe All-Star like Ingram. It is another marquee scorer and adds some height to an undersized roster.


New Orleans needs a point guard and getting a couple of first-round draft picks could give them enough to trade for a superstar when one becomes available. Donovan Mitchell may be the top player on the board this offseason, but the new second tax apron will shake things up. Could Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, or Devin Booker be available in future summers?  

Oklahoma City is the one team willing to overpay because they have immense draft capital. This could set the New Orleans Pelicans up for a blockbuster trade that makes Zion Williamson their number two and gives the franchise a chance at title contention.