NBA Rumors: Pelicans Have ‘Really High Opinion’ On Brandon Ingram And Lakers’ Young Core, Per Dave McMenamin

Brandon Ingram #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers is restrained by Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 124-115 loss to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Harry How / Getty Images

When Anthony Davis requested a trade before the February NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the NBA teams who immediately made a call to the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office. The Lakers tried their best to bring Davis to Los Angeles — offering their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart — but they failed to secure a deal. The Pelicans decided to wait for the summer of 2019 to move the All-Star center.

With teams like the Boston Celtics expected to join the bidding war in the 2019 NBA offseason, most people believe that the Lakers have a lesser chance of pairing LeBron James with Anthony Davis next season. However, many things have changed in New Orleans since the initial trade negotiation between the Lakers and the Pelicans, including the firing of Dell Demps and the hiring of former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin as vice president of basketball operations. According to CBS Sports, Griffin has been a huge fan of Lakers small forward Brandon Ingram, having kept an eye on Ingram from the time he was drafted as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

“Literally, this kid doesn’t even have total control of his extremities yet,” Griffin said. “He’s so long, he’s got like that newborn deer lack of core strength. For Kyrie Irving to say that he though [sic] [Ingram] was defensively tough for him is a huge statement by Kyrie.”

Now that he is calling the shots in New Orleans, David Griffin sees Brandon Ingram and their young players as very important for the Lakers. However, in a recent appearance on The Sedano Show, Dave McMenamin of ESPN revealed that even before Griffin arrived, a lot of people from the Pelicans’ front office have had a “really high opinion” on Ingram — and the trade package which the Lakers had offered for Anthony Davis before the February NBA trade deadline.

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“I spoke to several people within the Pelicans’ organization in the past several months that have a really high opinion of Brandon Ingram, and beyond just Brandon Ingram, have a really high opinion of the trade package that was on the table that was ultimately rejected,” McMenamin said.

Despite what happened before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers still have a legitimate chance of acquiring Anthony Davis next summer. The Celtics are the only team that can beat the Lakers in terms of trade assets, and they are highly expected to back out of their plan to trade for Davis if Kyrie Irving leaves in the 2019 NBA free agency.