Grade the Trade: Pelicans flip Brandon Ingram for All-Star guard in mock deal

The Pelicans flip Brandon Ingram for an All-Star point guard in this mock proposal.
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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The New Orleans Pelicans must nail this offseason if they plan on building a title contender around Zion Williamson. David Griffin vowed to make changes (subscription required), and the franchise appears set to trade Brandon Ingram. Fans have heard the rumors, but it is far from the team’s only issue.

The Pelicans plan on taking a massive risk by letting Jonas Valanciunas walk this summer. Their sights are set on finding a center upgrade, but that won’t be easy. New Orleans is focused on adding a rim protector. Still, more is needed to become serious contenders.

The Pels may be better off flipping Ingram for a lead ball-handler and playmaker. They have tried to put C.J. McCollum in that role, but New Orleans has shared the duties. Finding someone capable of creating open looks could provide a massive boost.

Pelicans are searching for a starting point guard

Griffin and the front office have attacked this issue. They traded for McCollum at the 2022 deadline and drafted Dyson Daniels with the eighth overall pick four months later. The Pelicans hoped he would blossom into their lead ball-handler, but he profiles more as a secondary creator.

New Orleans has a potential superstar in Zion. When healthy, he is one of the best scorers in the league. Trey Murphy, Herb Jones, and McCollum are a solid supporting cast with room to grow. The Pelicans need to flip Ingram for a better roster fit and figure out what to do at the five.

If New Orleans wants a point guard, an All-Star option will be available in Atlanta. Could the Pelicans buy low on Dejounte Murray, find their starting center, and improve their title odds in one move? The latest Bleacher Report trade proposal by Zach Buckley outlines a potential deal.