Why NBA execs view Pelicans' Ingram as likely Warriors trade target

Why NBA execs view Pelicans' Ingram as likely Warriors trade target originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

It's no secret the Warriors need to make a splash this offseason, but who could they target?

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram is on the radar of some around the NBA, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports (h/t Inside the Warriors).

“For what [the Warriors are] going to be looking for, [Ingram] is the kind of guy they will be in the market for, because he is a player who can score but is a little bit damaged goods and maybe the price is lower than it ought to be,” an anonymous Western Conference executive told Deveney. “But you know, you keep him healthy, you’re careful with him, and he can carry you through. He is still young [26] and that is absolutely what they want.

“He is a wildcard. But we saw him, he played 30 minutes against Washington and put up 40 points. He did that twice. When he is right, he is a devastating scorer.”

That's exactly what Golden State needs alongside star point guard Steph Curry, who didn't receive much support in the scoring department during the 2023-24 NBA season.

Ingram averaged 20.8 points on 49.2-percent shooting this past regular season with New Orleans, along with 5.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 32.9 minutes per game. The 2020 NBA Most Improved Player has struggled to stay healthy, however, appearing in 225 out of the Pelicans' last 318 games and actually seeing his numbers dip from a career-high 24.7 points per game last season.

But at 6-foot-8 with plenty of versatility, Ingram could slide right into Warriors coach Steve Kerr's system as an additional scoring threat, with Klay Thompson's future in the Bay uncertain and Andrew Wiggins coming off another down year.

“You can play him at the 4, he can switch a lot, he can play the 3 or the 2,” an anonymous Eastern Conference GM told Deveney of Ingram. “He has become a very good playmaker, too. That is the kind of versatility Steve loves to have. You might question his toughness, but put him next to Draymond Green and that will change.

“New Orleans is not sure it wants to pay him. So, there are a lot of teams with an eye on him. There are probably 10-12 teams with their eyes on him in case he comes available, monitoring him, however you want to put it.”

Could the Warriors be one of those teams? Deveney posited a Chris Paul, Moses Moody and future first-round pick trade package for Ingram, or a deal centered around Wiggins and Moody.

Ingram is under contract for the 2024-25 season for $36 million -- the final campaign of a five-year contract extension he signed in 2020. While the 26-year-old is due for a lucrative extension, it certainly could be a gamble the Warriors are willing to take.

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