Starting the 2021-22 NBA season 3-16, the New Orleans Pelicans looked like one of the worst teams in the league, but they have slowly started to begin looking like the team they thought they could be entering the year.
The Pelicans now sit at 16-28 on the season, just 2 full games back from the 10-seed spot in the Western Conference and with Brandon Ingram playing at an All-Star-level again, it is possible that New Orleans could wind up sneaking into the playoff picture this season.
Since the start of December, Brandon Ingram has averaged 23.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists and has shot 45.5% from the floor. In this same time span, Ingram has recorded at least 20 points in 14 of the 19 games he has played in, including five 30-point performances and a 40-point performance.
At just 24-years-old, Brandon Ingram is one of the best pure scorers on the wing in this league, which has led to plenty of talk about his potential future in New Orleans.
This team has struggled mightily this season and while they have key factors in Jonas Valanciunas, Devonte’ Graham and Josh Hart around Ingram, they are missing Zion Williamson. The former No. 1 overall pick has been out since the offseason due to foot surgery and there is still no timetable laid out for when he could return, as all the Pelicans have said is that he is still rehabbing.
With Zion Williamson sidelined, Brandon Ingram has had to carry the entire weight of this franchise, one that has not seen much success in recent years. Set to make over $130M through the 2024-25 season, Ingram does not have to worry about earning a long-term, high-paying deal, which is why now is the time for him to win.
Maybe Ingram will not request a trade, but this has not stopped speculation about what teams could try to trade for him at the deadline. The Pelicans have shown no willingness to want to move on from their young All-Star forward at this time, but the Atlanta Hawks are a team that is expected to be looking to make a big move.
Trading Cam Reddish to the Knicks was just the first move the Hawks will make ahead of the trade deadline this season and with them being just 19-25 on the season and outside of the playoff picture in the East, pairing Trae Young with Brandon Ingram could be highly beneficial to their chances of finding success.
Could the Hawks make a move for the Pelicans’ All-Star ahead of the trade deadline? Let’s take a look at a trade proposal put together by Bleacher Report’s Zack Buckley and see if this deal is feasible.
Atlanta Hawks Receive: F Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: F John Collins, F De’Andre Hunter, CHA 2022 1st Round Pick (Top-18 Protected, via ATL)
The Atlanta Hawks surprised everyone last season by not only turning things around with interim head coach Nate McMillan but making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Given their depth and their offensive firepower, this did not seem like a fluke at the time, but now looking back on this, it seems like the Hawks just got hot at the right time in the playoffs.
This season, Atlanta looks nothing like a title-contending threat and they were just one of the last four teams in the entire league standings last season!
Trae Young is as good as you can get at the point guard position given his abilities to score and facilitate for his team, but inconsistent play and injuries have really plagued the Hawks this season.