Pelicans agree to 5-year maximum extension with Brandon Ingram

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram has agreed to a maximum five-year, $ 158 million contract extension, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Jordan Gertler of Excel Sports told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ingram had a very good season in New Orleans after arriving as part of the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ingram, 23, set new personal records by averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists in the 2019-20 season. Additionally, he became an All-Star for the first time and was also named the Most Improved Player in the NBA.

A key to his development was the improvement in his three-point shots. In three seasons with the Lakers, Ingram shot 32.9 percent from deep, hitting 127 3s while attempting two per game. During his first season with the Pelicans, Ingram had 6.2 3-point attempts per game, with an ERA of 39.1%. He had 150 in 62 games, eclipsing his previous career total.

Ingram was eligible to sign an extension with the Pelicans before the start of last season, but the two parties were unable to reach an agreement. At the time, Ingram hadn’t played a game since a deep vein thrombosis in his arm prematurely ended his 2018-19 season.

“They wanted to see me recover,” Ingram told ESPN in January. “That’s the message I got. I couldn’t do anything but respect it.”

When Ingram last spoke to reporters in August after the Pelicans were eliminated from playoff contention in the Orlando bubble, he said New Orleans was a “better option” ahead of their free agency.

“This is definitely a special place with a lot of really good people and a lot of genuine people, so I’m enjoying where I am,” Ingram said.

New Orleans is set to host point guard Eric Bledsoe and George Hill in a 4-team trade and also selected Alabama point guard Kira Lewis in 13th place in the NBA draft. Subsequently, executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said the team hasn’t finished making moves.

“Generally speaking, I would tell you there is a lot to do,” Griffin said Wednesday night. “Obviously, with free agency starting as fast as it does, we have some goals in mind and we have other conversations as well. So there is a lot going on at the same time.”