Grade the Trade: Pelicans flip Brandon Ingram for All-Star and shooter in proposal

The Pelicans are exploring a Brandon Ingram trade, but what could they get in return?
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

The New Orleans Pelicans cannot run it back. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2018 and stand little chance of contending in the crowded Western Conference. David Griffin vowed to make changes (subscription required) this offseason. There is no shortage of players the Pelicans could trade, but how can they upgrade their roster?

New Orleans must choose a building block and put a better-fitting roster around them. Zion Williamson is the obvious answer, which is why Brandon Ingram is most likely to be traded. The Pelicans need two stars that mesh well and can lead them on a deep playoff run. Zion and BI have done nothing to prove they are capable.

Ingram is entering the final year of his contract, and the Pelicans do not want to sign him to a max contract. Ingram’s defensive issues and injury history are worries, but New Orleans will still get a strong return. They do not want to take a step backward, so expect the Pels' focus to be on adding talent to help them win immediately.

Pelicans expected to shop Brandon Ingram this offseason

New Orleans expects to part with starting center Jonas Valanciunas this summer. They must fill that void and will look to add shooting after finishing 18th in 3-pointers made. Zion is their star, but the Pelicans could use a true point guard too.

The Pelicans may try to trade Brandon Ingram for multiple players to round out their talented roster. The All-Star wing is an elite scorer and strong playmaker. Several franchises are rumored to have interest, but who can win the bidding war?

ESPN’s Bobby Marks shared trades he wants to see (subscription required), and one features Brandon Ingram being dealt to the Cavaliers in an All-Star swap. What does the deal look like, and should New Orleans make it happen? Here is a closer look.