Report: The Pelicans ‘Are Unwilling’ To Give Up Brandon Ingram In A Kevin Durant Trade

The Kevin Durant saga continues to dominate NBA chatter in August, with everything from retirement pseudo-rumors to a bombshell on what Durant would need to stick in Brooklyn and endless speculation on which teams might remain interested in his services. One such team is the up-and-coming New Orleans Pelicans, with Christian Clark of NOLA.com weighing in with an interesting report on Tuesday. In short, Clark noted that the Pelicans could be a part of the Durant bidding, but any pursuit “would likely require” the inclusion of highly touted wing Brandon Ingram. However, Clark, citing league sources, reports that “the Pelicans are unwilling to do so.”

Ingram is one of a handful of players across the league regularly mentioned as hypothetical centerpieces in Durant packages, and it makes sense on some level. After all, the Nets are thought to be seeking high-level NBA talent in addition to draft compensation for Durant, and the 24-year-old Ingram has an All-Star selection and three-year averages of 23.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game since joining the Pelicans.

With that said, Clark notes plainly that Ingram is nearly a decade younger than Durant, perhaps fitting more snugly with the timeline associated with Zion Williamson and other young players in New Orleans. Ingram is also quite a bit cheaper when it comes to contract cost, and that could be a real factor for a small-market team such as the Pelicans moving forward into the future.

It would be difficult to find a credible trade package that the Pelicans could offer without Ingram or Williamson, so the unwillingness to include either player likely crosses off New Orleans before even considering that Durant may not prefer the Pelicans as a destination. At the same time, it is interesting that the Pelicans may not even be willing to think about Ingram, and the future is undoubtedly bright in New Orleans if Williamson can stay healthy next to Ingram, CJ McCollum, and an intriguing young roster.