NBA news: Were the New Orleans Pelicans seriously considering trading away Brandon Ingram (or Zion Williamson) ahead of the NBA Draft? The Pels were reportedly interested in trading up to get their hands on Scoot Henderson, who ultimately landed with the Portland Trail Blazers as the No. 3 overall pick.
While New Orleans obviously didn’t deal Ingram away, questions have now emerged surrounding his availability on the trade market as well as with regard to his long-term future with the franchise.
NBA News: Brandon Ingram Reacts to Pelicans Trade Rumors
Ingram himself is well aware of all the trade buzz. He’s not the type who gets into these types of rumors too much, but he does admit that he’s not completely in the dark. At this point, however, the All-Star small forward knows what’s really going on behind closed doors:
“With me, I’m not on social media that much,” Ingram said. “So people will make a joke about it sometimes, or hit me up and ask me what’s going on with this thing they saw on TV. Most of the time, I’ll hear from the front office when that stuff pops up and they’ll tell me exactly what’s going on and how to feel about it. Any information that’s out there, they’ll clarify it and tell me if it was true or false.
“I’ve got a good relationship with (Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin). He’ll come straight to me and tell me anything. I’m not too into what everybody was putting out there, but none of it bothered me. I also know this is a business, though, and I’ve got to be prepared for anything.”
Kudos to the Pelicans front office for nipping this issue in the bud. Trade rumors are unavoidable — especially after another disappointing campaign — so it’s just a matter of how the team handles the same. New Orleans is clearly doing a good job at it based on Ingram’s comments here.
NBA News: Brandon Ingram Speaks Out on Future With Pelicans
Another thing to consider is the fact that Ingram is now entering the last two years of his current deal. If he doesn’t sign an extension with the Pelicans, the 25-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025. Right now, though, this isn’t really a significant concern for Ingram:
“For me, I love New Orleans,” Ingram said. “It’s perfect for me and the way I want to operate. Less distractions. I can go play basketball whenever I want to. I’ve got direct access to the facility. I’ve got people close to me who can come to the gym and help me at any time. I feel connected with New Orleans and the people around me.
“… I know my payday is coming around, so I don’t think too much of it. I’m just making sure I carry myself the right way. I’m sticking with what I know: If I stay in the gym, good things will come. I see the big money everybody else is getting, which is exciting.
“I just want to keep my focus on my team. The most important thing for me is just winning. I know when you win, that takes care of everything else.”
Clearly, Brandon Ingram isn’t sweating it. In fact, he even said that he gets more excited hearing about stuff like “my guy” Herb Jones getting his extension.
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