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Nobody Wants to Trade for Brandon Ingram

The New Orleans Pelicans are having a hard time finding a team that wants Brandon Ingram.

And here’s the issue:

Ingram is a fine player. In a league where you need scoring wings, he should be in high demand. But nobody wants to pay him.

The No. 2 overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft will turn 27 years old in September. He’s just entering his prime, but he’s also been in the league for eight seasons. He’s played over 475 games. He’s accomplished very little.

That’s not a slight on Ingram, either. 

Throughout his career, he has averaged 19 points per game with over five rebounds and four assists. He’s not a bad player. But whatever the reason might be, teams seem shy. 

Perhaps it’s because Ingram doesn’t exactly impact winning basketball games. He’s 222-225 in his career, but most of those losses were with the Los Angeles Lakers before LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

In recent years, he’s been a part of the group that revitalized the Pelicans. He’s played in more wins than losses during his last three seasons in New Orleans. So why are they trying so desperately to trade him? You guessed it, they don’t want to sign him to the massive extension that he’s looking for.

Availability becomes another question mark for Ingram.

He’s started more than 60 games just three times throughout his eight seasons in the NBA. That’s enough to scare any NBA decision-maker away from allocating a big-time, max contract paycheck to Ingram. 

The Sacramento Kings were once reportedly interested in him, but they opted for a much older wing in DeMar DeRozan to pair with De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. The Golden State Warriors were rumored to be interested, but that hasn’t materialized. Even the Cleveland Cavaliers are opting to run it back with their core of young players instead of paying Ingram.

The Pelicans now find themselves in a bit of a bind. They made a big trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Dejounte Murray, but now it feels like they are stuck paying two mortgages. 

Maybe New Orleans significantly lowers their asking price via trade for Ingram. Certainly, at the right cost, a team would find value in adding a scoring wing, even if it meant shelling out a massive contract. 

The Athletic’s John Hollinger suggests that a trade involving Ingram could be the next big domino to fall this offseason. 

But if that domino never falls, the Pelicans brass will have their hands full to make this thing work with a player in the last year of his deal before unrestricted free agency.

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