After a promising second season with the New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram's future with the organization looks to be secure.
Per Christian Clark of NOLA.com, the Pelicans are "unwilling" to include the 24-year-old in a potential trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant.
If the Pelicans decide to make a play for Durant without including Ingram, it seems unlikely they will be able to get him without bringing in other teams to sweeten the pot for Brooklyn.
The Athletic's Sam Amick noted any team trying to make an offer for the former NBA MVP without including their second-best player should "just stop wasting everyone’s time and bow out of this race."
According to Amick, a Celtics deal centered around Jaylen Brown is seen as the "unofficial front-runner" if a Durant trade is going to happen.
The Pelicans have been consistent that they don't want to move Ingram for Durant throughout the offseason.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported last month there was little traction in trade talks involving Durant, and the Pelicans weren't putting Ingram on the table when those discussions did take place.
Durant is still waiting for a resolution to his trade request that came out in June. The 33-year-old later told Nets governor Joe Tsai he doesn't have faith in the direction of the team and gave him an ultimatum to either trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
The Pelicans bear some similarities to the Nets over the past three seasons. Injuries have prevented both of them from having their best players on the court together for long periods of time.
Zion Williamson, who signed a five-year extension this offseason, has only played 85 games since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2019. Ingram and Williamson playing together has the potential to make New Orleans a playoff team in the Western Conference.
Since being acquired by the Pelicans from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the Anthony Davis trade in July 2019, Ingram has averaged at least 20 points and 4.0 assists per game in each of his three seasons with the club.
New Orleans has finished under .500 in each of the past four seasons. It did make the playoffs last season as the No. 8 seed, losing to the Phoenix Suns in six games in the first round.