Heading into the 2019 NBA offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers‘ Brandon Ingram is finally eligible for a contract extension on his rookie deal. While he still has one year left on his rookie scale contract, Ingram can open up negotiations with the Lakers and try to find a number that suits both teams moving forward. If the Lakers don’t come to an agreement with Ingram, he would head into next offseason as a restricted free agent with the Lakers able to match any offer made to him.
Brandon Ingram Rookie Contract Extension: Will the Lakers Pay Up?
When it comes to extending Brandon Ingram, the Lakers have a lot of factors to consider from a financial standpoint. While trade talks around Anthony Davis have taken a nosedive as reports are leaking out that the Pelicans don’t want to deal with the Lakers, there still remains an outside chance that the Lakers could make a move for Davis – one that would almost certainly include Ingram.
If the Lakers end up not trading Ingram, they also need to consider the financial implications if they sign another max-contract player. While Ingram will still be on the last year of his rookie contract next season, whatever extension the Lakers offer him will kick in the year after with both LeBron and whatever free agent they can lure to play alongside him still on the books. When you also account for the fact that Lonzo Ball is due for an extension the year after, things get a bit murkier as the Lakers will likely need to make some choices or pay an outrageous luxury tax penalty.
All in all, if the Lakers pay up or not depends largely on a number of factors that Ingram has absolutely no control over.
Brandon Ingram Rookie Contract Extension: How Much is Lakers’ Forward Worth?
If the Lakers pay Ingram or not is one thing, HOW MUCH they pay him is an entirely different story. Heading into an offseason following a season-ending injury, it makes sense that the Lakers might not want to offer the max extension for a still-developing player coming off a serious health scare. That said, Ingram is a former second overall draft pick and before going down for the season with DVT, had a breakout run after the All-Star break. Consistently flashing the elite multi-level scoring talent that made him such an appealing draft prospect, Ingram seemed to be putting everything together before his untimely injury.
While they may not want to give him the max extension, Ingram will still find himself getting a hefty pay raise from the Lakers if they decide to extend him. One prior example we can look to is Steph Curry’s extension with the Warriors. At the time, Curry took roughly 20% of the cap on a four-year deal. If you utilize those same percentages, Ingram would be looking at an AAV of roughly $20 million for a similar three or four-year run. Especially if Ingram has a breakout season back to full health next season, the contract could be a steal and possibly become an extremely valuable trade asset.