Report: Pelicans Contacted 76ers About Potential Brandon Ingram Trade

Report: Pelicans Contacted 76ers About Potential Brandon Ingram Trade New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) dribbles against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers, possessing significant trade assets and salary cap space, are going to be tied to many big-name players this offseason. New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram has often been one of the rumored names connected to Philadelphia in recent weeks. With the rumor mill churning, there has now been confirmation the two teams discussed a potential Ingram deal. According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Pelicans contacted the Sixers “concerning a possible Ingram trade.”

Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick back in the 2016 NBA Draft, grew into one of the league’s top scorers over the last handful of seasons. Since being traded to New Orleans, Ingram averaged 23.1 points per game while shooting 47.2% from the field. He thrives working in the mid-range, finishing this season fifth in the league in mid-range made field goals per game.

The Pelicans are considering shaking up their roster after being swept in the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ingram, who is entering the final year of his contract, is seeking a four-year extension worth $208 million. Christian Clark of The Times-Picayune reported the Pelicans “do not have a willingness” to give Ingram that kind of money. New Orleans is instead shopping Ingram around on the trade market.

The Sixers’ desire to add another star player is well known around the league. Is Ingram the right player to add to a core consisting of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey? At 26 years old, Ingram is younger than most of the other rumored stars the Sixers could acquire. He also has a proven track record of good scoring numbers, averaging at least 20 points per game in each of the last five seasons.

Despite Ingram’s strong production, there are still reasons to question if adding him is the right move for the Sixers. He is a poor fit next to Embiid because of their similar desire to work in the mid-range area of the floor. Building around Embiid requires surrounding him with perimeter shooters, not someone else who excels from inside the arc. Is Ingram a potent enough outside shooter to remain productive while transitioning away from his reliance on mid-range jumpers? Ingram’s 3-point shooting has improved from earlier in his career, although his numbers have dipped in recent seasons. Over the last three years, Ingram shot 35.4% from beyond the arc on 3.9 attempts per game. Both the low shooting percentage and lack of high volume are major signs of concern about any potential Ingram acquisition by Philadelphia.

If the Sixers were to trade for Ingram, their package would be centered around draft capital. Philadelphia has up to five first-round picks available to trade on draft night. The expected cost of trading for someone of Ingram’s caliber would be high. However, there are a few reasons why teams might be able to get him without giving up a king’s ransom. Any team acquiring Ingram would be doing so knowing they will be giving him a contract extension. Ingram’s $36.0 million cap hit for next season also is a turn off for a significant number of teams around the league.

While Ingram has his flaws, he has proven to be a top-tier scorer who still has most of his prime years ahead of him. His 3-point shooting is a cause for concern, but the Sixers are looking mostly at imperfect options for a third star addition this offseason. Acquiring Ingram does not come without some risk, but he is still an immensely talented player. The Sixers should strongly consider trading for Ingram this offseason.

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