Pelicans' Updated Cap Space After Brandon Ingram, Steven Adams Contracts

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, right, drives around San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans inked their second contract in as many days, agreeing to a five-year, $158 million deal with forward Brandon Ingram. 

Ingram's agents Jeff Schwartz and Jordan Gertler shared the terms of the contract with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, with Ingram coming off his first All-Star campaign in 2020. The team previously inked Steven Adams to a two-year, $35 million extension as part of a deal to acquire the center from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Ingram's deal brings the Pelicans to around $132.1 million in salary commitments for the 2020-21 season, putting them just under the luxury-tax line of $132.6 million.

Adams was already on the books at $29.6 million for next season, so his new deal won't kick in until 2021-22. While the structure of that deal is not yet known, it's likely he will have a starting salary of $17.1 million in 2021-22 and $17.9 million in 2022-23 if the contract follows a standard structure.

The Pelicans could have meaningful cap space next summer, but that will be dependent on how they choose to handle a potential extension for Lonzo Ball. The polarizing point guard is eligible for an extension on his rookie contract now and will enter restricted free agency if they're unable to come to terms on an agreement.

New Orleans offered Ingram an extension last summer at a rate lesser than the max, but the league's Most Improved Player bet on himself and it paid off in a major way. It's possible Ball will similarly bet on himself this upcoming season—although that may not be as advisable as Ingram's decision.

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Ball will be competing for point guard minutes with Eric Bledsoe and first-round pick Kira Lewis Jr., both of whom could significantly cut into his playing time.