While Zion Williamson entered the 2019-20 season as the main reason for excitement in New Orleans, Brandon Ingram ended up having a monster year while his rookie running mate waited to make his debut. As a result, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft received a big money extension from the Pelicans.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN brings word of the deal, which was confirmed by Ingram’s agents. The 2020 NBA All-Star Game selection came to terms with the team on a five-year max extension that will pay him $158 million.
New Orleans Pelicans All-Star F Brandon Ingram has agreed to a five-year, $158 million maximum contract extension, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Jordan Gertler of @excelsm_bball tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 24, 2020
Ingram came to New Orleans as one of several major pieces in the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead of agreeing to an extension last summer — which Wojnarowski noted was “more modest” than what he received — Ingram opted to wait it out and bet on getting a bigger deal. It was a bit of a risk, particularly because his previous season ended in March due to a deep vein thrombosis in his arm, but Ingram responded with the best season of his career en route to being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. The former Duke standout averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game in New Orleans last year.
Williamson has been viewed as the centerpiece of the Pelicans’ current era, but Ingram’s breakout campaign showed that the team has a potential 1-2 punch that can take them to new heights. As a result, Ingram is the latest member of his Draft class to get paid.