David Griffin leaves massive question marks around Brandon Ingram's Pelicans future

David Griffin left fans guessing on Brandon Ingram’s future with the Pelicans.
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

The New Orleans Pelicans are facing a crucial offseason. It appeared Brandon Ingram would be traded after executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin made it clear there would be changes (subscription required). The All-Star forward is entering the final year of his contract and the franchise doesn’t want to give him a max extension (subscription required).

There will be changes. Jonas Valanciunas is expected to walk in free agency. The Pels want to add a starting center and just drafted Yves Missi at 21st overall. Griffin plans to improve the fit around Zion Williamson and build New Orleans into a title contender.

Trading Ingram may turn into the desire of fans. Griffin gave a press conference after the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft on June 26 where he shared a puzzling quote about his star forward.

Brandon Ingram’s future with the Pelicans is in doubt after David Griffin quote

The Pels lead decision-maker had plenty to say about Ingram and his future with the franchise. It may come as a shock, but Griffin shared his excitement about having him moving forward.

Does this mean New Orleans is willing to give him a max contract? Ingram is rumored to be searching for one, and the Pelicans cannot afford to let him reach free agency. If the two sides cannot work out a new contract, Griffin should trade Ingram before the start of the 2024-25 season. It will allow the franchise to maximize their return and gives Ingram a chance to find a new home.

The Pels cannot keep Ingram and expect to jump into title contention. BI and Zion have injury concerns and are not the ideal fit. New Orleans needs a guard capable of running their offense and getting everyone easier looks. Ingram is a skilled offensive weapon, but his defense is subpar. The Pelicans should look to add a two-way force if they decide to move on from BI.

This is likely a smoke screen by David Griffin. Teams will pay more if they believe the New Orleans Pelicans want to keep Brandon Ingram. Griffin has zero incentive to say the plan is deal him. The Pelicans need to get a star return, which means trying to create a bidding war.

Is Ingram excited about New Orleans? Do the Pelicans want him to stay? Those questions will be answered soon enough. If fans do not hear about an extension in the coming days, Ingram will likely be on the move before training camp. Fans will quickly get to see if Griffin is telling the truth or trying to create a larger market for his star forward.