With the current talents on their roster, the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t expected to make a huge impact in the upcoming 2019-20 NBA season. Instead of trying to earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, most people believe that the Cavaliers’ No. 1 priority is the development of their young players like Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Cedi Osman. The Cavaliers may not have made any major acquisition in the 2019 NBA free agency, but things are set to change in the summer of 2020.
With Tristan Thompson, Jordan Clarkson, Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, and Brandon Knight currently on the final year of their contracts, the Cavaliers could create enough salary cap space to chase big names in the 2020 NBA free agency. However, instead of going after veteran superstars, the Cavaliers could target young and promising talents that they could add to their current core. According to Tyler Marling of Fansided’s King James Gospel, one of the potential targets for the Cavaliers next summer is Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Brandon Ingram was one of the young players that the Pelicans acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent All-Star center Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. As of now, Ingram is viewed as an integral part of the title-contending team that the Pelicans are trying to build in the post-Davis era. However, if the Pelicans let the deadline pass without giving Ingram a contract extension, he could hit the free agency market next summer.
Once he becomes officially available, the Cavaliers will likely do everything they can to bring Brandon Ingram to Cleveland. Since being drafted as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Ingram has shown plenty of superstar potential and was frequently compared to Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. Last season, the 22-year-old small forward averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from beyond the arc.
If they want to speed up the rebuilding process, offering Brandon Ingram a max contract in the 2020 NBA free agency should be a no-brainer for the Cavaliers. However, as Marling noted, stealing Ingram from the Pelicans won’t be easy for the Cavaliers. Even if they have the capability to give him a huge payday, the only thing that the Pelicans need to do to bring him back is to match their offers.
“Brandon Ingram is the longest shot of the three due to the fact that the New Orleans Pelicans only have slightly over $88 million in salary committed to players in the 2020-21 season as the roster stands currently according to Spotrac. If Ingram receives a max offer sheet from the Cavaliers (or anyone else for that matter), the Pelicans will have very little roster maneuvering to do to match the offer sheet. With the trajectory that Ingram is on, it is highly likely that he receives a max offer sheet, and highly likely the Pelicans match.”
Though they only have minimal chance to acquire him next summer, Brandon Ingram would undeniably be an intriguing acquisition for the Cavaliers. Ingram isn’t expected to have a hard time making himself comfortable in Cleveland since he would be reuniting with familiar faces like his former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, provided that the Cavaliers decide to re-sign him in the 2020 NBA free agency. Also, compared to New Orleans where they have Zion Williamson, Ingram has a strong chance of becoming the main man and the face of the franchise in Cleveland.