Sixers Mentioned as Potential Suitor for $158 Million Star: Report

Brandon Ingram

Getty Brandon Ingram

The Philadelphia 76ers  will be players in the free agent market. However, if they don’t land any of their free agent targets, they could turn to the trade market instead. One option that could emerge is New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram.

NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that the Sixers are among the teams who could potentially pursue Ingram.

“A handful of Eastern Conference teams (Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Orlando) have already been mentioned as potential trade suitors for Ingram,” Stein wrote in a March 12 story.

Whether the Sixers acquire him, Stein reported that an Ingram trade appears likely.

“Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has all but promised that New Orleans will be active in the marketplace in the wake of a first-round sweep inflicted by the Thunder, and league sources say that Ingram’s exit is increasingly viewed by various league observers as an inevitability rather than possibility.”

Since coming to the NBA in 2016, Ingram made an All-Star team in 2020. However, the Pelicans have only done well enough to make the playoffs twice with him. Their stagnated progress in the last half-decade with him could lead to a major shakeup.

The Sixers could offer cap flexibility and draft assets to the Pelicans, but New Orleans may want more than that.

Sixers Urged to Acquire Brandon Ingram

Following Michael Scotto’s report that Ingram is “the most likely played to be traded” from New Orleans, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox explained his appeal to the Sixers.

“Ingram is only 26, and while he isn’t currently on (Paul) George’s level, he would still add some offensive potency to Philadelphia’s lineup,” Knox wrote in a May 12 story. “Ingram didn’t play particularly well in New Orleans’ losing playoff effort, but he did average 22.6 points in the regular season while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from beyond the arc.

“While Ingram hasn’t been an All-Star since the 2019-20 season, he’d still form a terrific trio alongside Embiid and Maxey. Given his age, he might also provide more long-term value than George.”

Knox added what acquiring Ingram would cost on the Sixers’ end.

“Of course, acquiring Ingram would cost trade capital. However, the Sixers have assets remaining from the James Harden trade. And with New Orleans apparently eager to offload Ingram, he might be a more realistic trade target than (Jimmy) Butler.”

If the Sixers used their cap flexibility to trade for Ingram, they would also have to figure out what to do with the rest of their roster.

Sixers Could Have Drafted Brandon Ingram

Back in 2016, the Sixers possessed the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. At the time, Ingram and Ben Simmons were considered as the best players coming out of the draft.

Simmons received more attention than Ingram did despite his lack of college success. The Sixers selected him with the No. 1 overall pick, while the Los Angeles Lakers selected Ingram with the No. 2 pick.

In hindsight, the Sixers probably would have been better off picking Ingram knowing what’s happened to Simmons. At the same time, multiple players who were picked after both of them have arguably turned out better. These players include Jaylen Brown, Jamal Murray, Pascal Siakam, and Domantas Sabonis.

At the time, however, many believed only Simmons and Ingram had All-Star potential.