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Brandon Ingram Says Pelicans Will Be 1 of His 'Top Choices' During Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram shoots a 3-pointer against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Brandon Ingram will explore his options in free agency this offseason but called the New Orleans Pelicans one of his "top choices," per Andrew Lopez of ESPN.

He also called New Orleans a "special place with a lot of really, really good people."

Ingram will be a restricted free agent this offseason, meaning the Pelicans can match any offer from an opposing team. Even if New Orleans isn't his first choice, the franchise can still keep the forward on the roster.

The Pelicans have also been operating with the mindset that they will re-sign both Ingram and Lonzo Ball.

"We believe very strongly both Lonzo and Brandon want to be a part of the future here and we anticipate that happens," executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin said in June. "And we're going to continue to work from that vantage point because they've been very, very clear in their desires to continue their careers here."

This comes after New Orleans didn't offer Ingram a max extension last offseason after acquiring him in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 22-year-old has transformed his stock since then, when he was an inconsistent scorer who struggled to stay healthy and was coming off deep venous thrombosis.

Ingram took his game to a new level in 2019-20 as a go-to option on the Pelicans. He averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game—all career highs—and was named a finalist for the NBA's Most Improved Player award.

He will likely be a sought-after player this offseason, but teams could struggle to get him away from New Orleans.

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