Three Potential Trade Ideas For Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram is an interesting player on the NBA’s trade market. Ingram is an unquestioned talent, and his ability to score and bring some playmaking should make him a player who gins up some interest. And yet, on the heels of a disappointing playoff run, trading for a guy who can’t fit alongside his team’s best player and will need an extension sometime in the next year isn’t exactly piquing teams’ interest.

Today, we’re looking around the league for trades involving guys who could be on the move now that the initial surge of the league’s free agency period calmed down, and Ingram is not an easy guy to figure out here. His value isn’t exactly at its highest and, like Lauri Markkanen, given he’s on an expiring the team acquiring him would have to want to extend him and have some assurances he will if they’re going to send out real assets for him. However, we’ve identified three teams that we think could make a deal for Ingram that would make some amount of sense for all parties involved.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings are one of the teams that have been linked to Ingram, and it would make sense. After making the playoffs in 2023, the team stagnated and got bounced from the Play-In Tournament last year, and could really afford to shake things up without messing with their core of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Keegan Murray. Ingram is a nice fit alongside that trio, too, as he can provide some scoring and self-creation from the wing that they don’t really have — Fox and Malik Monk provide it from the guard spots, and Murray is coming along.

Something that helps Sacramento here: They can provide the Pelicans with two real NBA players in Harrison Barnes and Kevin Huerter, assuming that is the package they’d send back. Whether they’d keep them as rotation guys or try to flip them again would remain to be seen, but both can provide shooting on a team built around Dejounte Muray and Zion Williamson. The real question is what the Pelicans look to command in terms of draft assets. Does Ingram on an expiring (but with the idea you extend him) get two rotation players and a first round pick? We’ll split the difference and send Portland’s 2025 second here, which figures to be in the early 30s, but that figures to be the sticking point in any conversations.

The Trade
Kings receive: Brandon Ingram
Pelicans receive: Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, Portland’s 2025 second-round pick

Cleveland Cavaliers

Getting Dejounte Murray makes this a little tricker, because a straight Darius Garland for Brandon Ingram swap (plus draft assets) made a ton of sense before that. However, now that Donovan Mitchell is locked in for the next few years, could Cleveland try to get really ambitious in building out its team by making Mitchell the full-time point guard, Evan Mobley the full-time center, and try to fit everything else around them? I can’t imagine them going quite that far — especially considering how good Garland has been when he doesn’t have to come back from breaking his jaw — but Mobley, in particular, has just looked worlds more comfortable when he’s playing center.

New Orleans could use a big man, and while he’s apparently a favorite of Mitchell’s and is very familiar with new head coach Kenny Atkinson, Jarrett Allen is right there and the fit alongside Mobley has long been clunky. It’d be a major endorsement in Mobley and the Cavs would have to extend Ingram right away, but he’d definitely help give them some scoring from the wing that they just don’t have.

The Trade
Cavs receive: Brandon Ingram, a future second-round pick
Pelicans receive: Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert

Charlotte Hornets

It’s hard to get any sort of read on the Hornets, as they’re a team under new ownership with a new head coach and is building around LaMelo Ball (assuming he can stay healthy) and Brandon Miller. Still, reports indicate that the Hornets are interested in re-signing Miles Bridges, but if they don’t, there’s going to be a big hole on the wing that a guy like Ingram — a North Carolina native — could fill while they hope 2024 first-round pick Tidjane Salaun develops.

Putting together a deal here is a bit tricky, because it’s not like the Hornets have a ton that they could give up, and it wouldn’t be wise to part ways with too much draft capital. But they can put together salaries to make a deal work and send some depth pieces to New Orleans — Grant Williams and Cody Martin get them there financially — and toss in a lottery protected first-round pick that turns into two seconds. We’ll throw Bryce McGowens in, too, as a cheap lottery ticket for New Orleans.

The Trade
Hornets receive: Brandon Ingram
Pelicans receive: Grant Williams, Cody Martin, Bryce McGowans, Miami’s lottery-protected 2027 first-round pick