Brandon Ingram is expected to become available for trade as the wing market comes into focus

With the 2024 NBA Draft over, the league’s transaction market is expected to continue to be active over the weekend, league sources told Yahoo Sports, as several clubs look to add players for next season or adjust salaries ahead of the fiscal year. 2024-25 which begins when free agency opens at 6pm EST on Sunday.

The second round of Thursday’s draft has already seen the Denver Nuggets, for example, send three future second-round picks to Charlotte, in order to move Reggie Jackson’s $5.2 million salary, sources said. This is a move that would open up needed flexibility for Denver as the NBA staff prepares for Nuggets player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to exit via free agency after the veteran declined his $15.4 million player option on Thursday.

There are several other important decisions regarding player options and contract guarantees looming over the next 48 hours, perhaps none more important than Paul George’s $48.7 million option to remain with the Clippers — which he may reasonably decline and join Caldwell-Pope on the market. Open. Another wing player who should factor in this mix of perimeter talent, Brandon Ingram, is expected to become available for trade to New Orleans, league sources tell Yahoo Sports, if Ingram’s representation and the Pelicans’ front office fail to find a long-term extension agreement before Ingram enters the final year of his current contract in 2024-25.

David Griffin told reporters after the first round of Wednesday night’s game that the Pelicans hope to retain Ingram and that Ingram wants to stay with New Orleans. But the Pelicans have never paid the luxury tax, and New Orleans will likely have to cap Ingram’s potential salary.

Sources have reported that Ingram is listed among Philadelphia’s targets this season, somewhere behind George, though it’s not entirely clear where Ingram ranks among Philadelphia’s ideal wing target pool between Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. If George rejects Philadelphia, Philadelphia could easily acquire Ingram in $60+ million in salary cap space, but could Philadelphia’s three first-round picks be enough for Ingram?

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Cleveland is still mentioned by league officials as a potential replacement for Ingram, but there is no direct path to making such a deal work with the Cavaliers. While Cleveland maintains its interest in Ingram and values ​​his skills, sources said Cavaliers personnel have remained reluctant to dismantle the team’s core of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, as NBA figures continue to prepare to sign Mitchell to a lucrative extension. Without parting ways with Allen, who has long been on New Orleans’ radar, it’s hard to find a path to bringing Ingram to Northeast Ohio. (Another center the Pelicans have been eyeing, Nets big man Nick Clacton, is now committed to four more years and $100 million in Brooklyn.) Cleveland doesn’t want to part ways with Garland either, sources said, even if his representative at Klutch Sports tries to push his own trade.

Atlanta is another popular league figure that Ingram has mentioned, but there have been no substantive talks between the Hawks and Pelicans, sources said, since the two teams discussed trade scenarios involving Dejounte Murray before the February trade deadline. Atlanta was heavily focused on selecting the No. 1 pick in this week’s draft, the sources said, and then the Hawks were determined to trade in the second round, where Atlanta ultimately came up with Nikola Coricic. The Hawks are now expected to weigh up trade possibilities for Murray, All-Star guard Trae Young, Clint Capela and the rest of their rostered players who were not named in Jalen Johnson and Zachary Reissacher, the sources said. Young is in the Pelicans’ consideration for potential next-best teams, league sources told Yahoo Sports, as well as the Spurs and Lakers, but Young’s fit never made sense for a New Orleans position that currently has C.J. McCollum in its backcourt.

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One team that will be keeping an eye on Ingram will be Sacramento. The Kings have been examining paths to acquire various wings, from Kyle Kuzma to Zach LaVine, and Ingram could be another option for Sacramento to explore, sources said. The Kings have veteran wings Harrison Barnes and Kevin Huerter, who Sacramento placed on the trade market at the recent deadline, and their salaries combine in a nearly perfect matchup to meet Ingram’s expiring number of $36 million for 2024-25, sources said.

The Jazz could have upwards of $40 million in cap space, plus veteran salaries like John Collins and Jordan Clarkson and a slew of future draft capital, to add any player on the market in the future, from Ingram to George. That’s why Utah made its way into the draft lottery for Mikal Bridges before the Nets ultimately sent the 27-year-old wing to New York, sources said.

The Jazz find themselves in a similar position to Brooklyn before they traded Bridges: a non-competing roster with a 27-year-old player on a valuable contract that the entire league was interested in. In Utah, that would be Lauri Markkanen, who has already been named an All-Star unlike Bridges and will enter the final year of his contract if he doesn’t find an extension with Utah in the coming days and weeks. At this point, the Jazz are expected to prioritize finding an extension with Markkanen, according to sources, and Utah officials made that clear in their approach to Bridges. That won’t stop rival teams from calling and registering interest in Markkanen, in the hopes that Utah will decide to kick the bucket like Brooklyn — if the Jazz can’t secure someone close to a second star for Markkanen.

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Utah is clearly looking to be opportunistic. Sources say there have been concrete discussions between the Jazz and Hawks about Murray at the trade deadline. What big moves might ultimately come from Utah this summer, beyond addressing the Markkanen situation, could present one of the most interesting scenarios of the NBA offseason.

Meanwhile, the Nets are open to signing veterans like Cam Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith, according to sources, even after re-signing with Clacton.

League officials are still mentioning the Milwaukee Bucks as a team worth pursuing in the trade market. Milwaukee was able to acquire a potential quarterback of the future in Tyler Smith with the 33rd pick in the second round on Thursday. Perhaps Smith could help replace Brook Lopez as soon as this season, if Milwaukee does indeed part ways with the veteran quarterback who is about to enter the final year of his contract. The names of Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis have continued to pop up as swap candidates as well, a source said.

The Warriors have another fascinating math problem to solve. Golden State reportedly agreed to increase Chris Paul’s guaranteed money for the 2024-25 season in order to push back the team’s actual deadline to keep his $30 million salary next year. Golden State already guaranteed Kevon Looney $8 million after Gary Payton II exercised his $9.1 million player option. All three of those players, plus swingman Andrew Wiggins, are potential expiring contracts for the Warriors as Golden State tries to reconfigure a contending roster around Stephen Curry.

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