AP source: Ingram signs max contract extension with Pelicans

Sports

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Restricted free agent Brandon Ingram has agreed to a five-year, $158 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, said a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke to the Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the contract, first reported by ESPN, has not been announced.

Ingram is the NBA’s reigning most improved player after averaging a team-high 23.8 points in his first season with the Pelicans.

The 23-year-old Ingram, a 2016 second overall draft choice by the Los Angeles Lakers, was dealt to New Orleans during the 2019 offseason as part of a blockbuster trade that sent perennial All-Star Anthony Davis to the Lakers. New Orleans also received guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, as well as multiple draft picks in that deal.

The 6-foot-7 Ingram this season developed into an effective scorer from the perimeter as well as on dribble drives. He shot a career best 39.1% from 3-point range but also routinely finished above the rim in the free-flowing, up-tempo offense the Pelicans ran last season under Alvin Gentry.

The season represented a personal triumph for Ingram on multiple levels.

Not only did he begin to fulfill the potential he was widely believed to possess when he turned pro after starring at Duke, but he also made it through virtually an entire season after his last season with the Lakers had been cut short by a blood clot.

Ingram showed little interest in leaving New Orleans, saying, “I’m enjoying where I’m at,” when last season ended.

His decision allows him to continue to develop his game alongside 2019 first overall draft choice Zion Williamson and Ball.

The Pelicans this offseason also have made trades to acquired 7-foot center Steven Adams and guard Eric Beldsoe.

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