New Orleans Pelicans small forward Brandon Ingram is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the free agency market in the 2020 NBA offseason. Though they didn’t even consider giving him a rookie extension last October, the Pelicans have already said on numerous occasions that they would do everything they can to bring Ingram back this summer. However, if they change their mind about giving the former No. 2 overall pick a huge payday, Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report suggested that the Pelicans could engage in a sign-and-trade deal with the reigning NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, involving Ingram and Pascal Siakam.
As of now, the Raptors haven’t shown any indication that they are planning to make Siakam available on the trade market this summer, but Ellis thinks that by using Ingram as the main trade chip, the Pelicans could come up with a trade package that could convince Toronto to make a deal. In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Pelicans would be sending Ingram, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Josh Hart, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021 first-round pick to the Raptors in exchange for Siakam.
Siakam would undeniably give the Pelicans an upgrade at the small forward position. Aside from being a very reliable scoring option, Siakam has also managed to build a good reputation on the defensive end of the floor. If he, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, and Zion Williamson grow together and establish good chemistry, the Pelicans have a strong chance of making a huge impact in the Western Conference next season.
“Siakam can defend 3s, 4s and 5s, and he could form one of the league’s best starting lineups with Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson in New Orleans,” Ellis wrote.
“If the Pelicans were considering letting Ingram walk as a restricted free agent, they’d effectively be giving up only Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Josh Hart and what’s likely to be a late first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022.”
Meanwhile, the potential trade would make a lot of sense for the Raptors if they are already planning to undergo a full-scale rebuild. With Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka set to become unrestricted free agents and Kyle Lowry entering the final year of his contract, the Raptors could start building the team around Ingram, Alexander-Walker, and Hart. Ingram may not be as good as Siakam right now, but since entering the league in 2016, he has shown potential to become a legitimate NBA superstar. If he continues to improve his game, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ingram becomes the new face of the Raptors’ franchise.