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

Ingram flourished last season in New Orleans after arriving as part of the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ingram, 23, set career highs by averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He became an All-Star for the first time and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

A key to Ingram’s development was improvement in his 3-point shooting. In three seasons with the Lakers, Ingram shot 32.9% from deep, making 127 3-pointers while attempting two per game. During his first season in New Orleans, Ingram hoisted 6.2 3-point attempts per game, knocking them down at a 39.1% clip. He made 150 in 62 games, eclipsing his previous career total.

Ingram was eligible to sign an extension with the Pelicans before last season, but the two sides could not come to terms. At the time, Ingram hadn’t played in a game since a deep vein thrombosis in his arm prematurely ended his 2018-19 season.

“They wanted to see how I recovered,” 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 called New Orleans a “top choice” ahead of free agency.

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

New Orleans is set to receive center Steven Adams and point guard Eric Bledsoe in a four-team deal and selected Alabama point guard Kira Lewis 13th overall in Wednesday’s NBA draft. Afterward, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said the team wasn’t finished making moves.

“Big picture-wise, I would tell you that there’s an awful lot left to be done,” Griffin said Wednesday night. “Obviously with free agency starting as quickly as it does, we have some targets in mind there and we’ve got some other trade conversations going on as well. So there’s a great many things happening all at one time.”

Courtesy: ESPN


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