May 26, 2020
NBA Rumors: Brandon Ingram May Complete Next Warriors' 'Big Three' With Curry & Thompson This Summer

After suffering a huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors are highly expected to find a way to immediately return to title contention next year. Aside from making sure that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will be in perfect shape before the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, rumors are circulating that they are going to target another superstar this summer. Though he's yet to be considered as a legitimate NBA superstar, New Orleans Pelicans small forward Brandon Ingram is currently among the players who are being linked to Golden State.

In his recent article, Nathan Beighle of Fansided's Blue Man Hoop included Ingram on the list of stars the Warriors may consider pairing with Curry and Thompson to create the next "Big Three" for their team.

"A free agent this coming offseason, Brandon Ingram will be looking for a max-value deal. While it'd be a tough challenge to free up the cap space in order to give him that max, there's no denying Ingram seems like a perfect addition, replacing some of the production left when Kevin Durant took his talent to Brooklyn. Ingram stepped into superstardom this past season as No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson missed the first 44 games. With Williamson's absence, Ingram exploded averaging a career-high 24.3 points per game. He also notched 6.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists. While Durant's numbers are a bit higher, they are comparable."
Ingram hasn't shown any strong indication that he wants to leave the Pelicans. However, if something goes wrong with their contract negotiation, the Warriors could take advantage of the situation. Though they are currently buried deep in luxury tax hell, the Warriors could acquire the power forward by engaging in a sign-and-trade deal that would send Andrew Wiggins and his massive contract to New Orleans.

To further convince the Pelicans to make the trade, Golden State may also need to sacrifice their own first-round pick in the 2020 draft or the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2021 first-round pick. Between him and Wiggins, Ingram would undeniably be a better replacement for Kevin Durant. He is still far from reaching the level of Durant, but it's worth noting that before he was selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, he was frequently compared to Durant for having a similar physique and set of skills.

Since entering the league in 2016, Ingram continues to improve his performance on both ends of the floor. This season, he has already blossomed into an All-Star caliber player. He would still need to make a huge adjustment with his game to make himself fit with the Warriors' system, but once he succeeds in meshing with Curry and Thompson, Golden State would definitely become a team to fear once again in the Western Conference.