2019-2020 All-Star forward just secured a big bag. New Orleans and Brandon Ingram agree to five years, 158 million dollar deal on Tuesday. Andrew Lopez of ESPN reports that Adrian Wojnarowski was given the information by Ingram’s agents Jeff Schwartz and Jordan Gertler of Excel Sports.

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The deal will give Ingram 27.2 million starting in the 2020-2021 NBA season. he will receive 36 million in the 2024-2025 season.

Ingram’s Rise

Two years ago, Brandon Ingram was struggling to fit alongside his Los Angeles Lakers teammate In LeBron James. Attempting to fit in alongside arguably the greatest player in this current generation, and seeking to be LeBron’s number two. Ingram struggled against scrutiny, his own mind, and pressure to stay a Laker. This all was surmised with potential trade talks for All-Star Forward Anthony Davis, as Ingram was coveted as the gem of the eventual trade in the summer of 2019.

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The former number two overall pick had begun to turn a corner in march of that year, averaging over 28 points and 7 rebounds in three games. A much higher average than his season averages of 18 and 5. The forward was showing the world the reason why he was drafted second overall in 2016. Then, a turn for the worst occurred when he suffered a blood clot in his right arm. The diagnosis was a deep vein thrombosis in his right arm. Thus, he was sidelined with a potentially career-ending injury.

Skip several months later, Ingram was establishing himself with his new team, the New Orleans Pelicans. The 6’9″ forward was averaging  25.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.1 APG on .415 3pt% ( all career highs) and a .489 field goal percentage. These averages would lead to his breakout all-star most-improved player award-winning season. The crescent city is on the rise as New Orleans and Brandon Ingram agree to five years, 158 million dollar deal. There is a trigger in the deal that can give Ingram the supermax. The triggers are making an All-NBA team or an MVP at the time of the deal.

Brandon Ingram’s Averages
Brandon Ingram - Wikipedia
Ingram running down the court image credit to Erik Drost

The key to Ingram’s breakout lies within his three-point shooting and his free throw percentage. Therefore, he rose his point total significantly. Drastically increasing his shot totals from two per game in 2019 to 6.5 in 2020. Ingram averaged an astonishing 39 percent from deep. Much higher than his 32 percent the previous year. However, that wasn’t the only significant change. Ingram also increased his free throw percentage by 18 percent. In 2019, Ingram averaged 67.5 percent from the line on 5.6 attempts. In 2020, he averaged 85 percent on almost 6 attempts. Ingram changed his shooting motion and the results spoke for themselves. Thus, securing his bag of 158 million.

The former second overall pick in 2016 came into his own. And, he found a home in a young, and exciting New Orleans team.

New Orleans and Ingram

The contract extension for Ingram was eligible at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season. However, both parties agreed to wait and see. This was because Ingram was recovering from his deep vein thrombosis injury. Thus the Pelicans were cautious about signing Ingram long term. Even though the injury wasn’t a long term threat, the fear of it arising again made both parties yield. However, that seemed to only fuel Ingram as he dazzled the crescent city. Showing his unlocked potential and talent. Ingram averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. all career highs en-route to his first all-star appearance.

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“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.”

according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN, New Orleans became Ingram’s top priority for free agency when discussing it in the bubble.

“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

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Adonis Richards

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