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Debate

Did the Dejounte Murray trade just expose Brandon Ingram's diminishing value in the NBA?

The New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram has been left dry and high due to the unavailability of teams eager to have him on the roster. In fact, his team has gone for a trade to acquire the 27-year-old point guard Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks to increase their versatility on both ends. But the catch is that the Hawks did not take Ingram in exchange for Murray. It is quite surprising since the Atlanta Hawks were rumored to be a potential landing spot for Ingram. Even ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski shed light on it while appearing on the Hoop Collective Podcast.

Providing clarity on why the Hawks did not go for Ingram, Woj said, “The Hawks were not interested in taking Brandon Ingram. …Ingram is a very good player, but he is injury prone and might not be worth a max contract.” Apparently, Brandon is projected to earn $36 million this year as he is entering the final year of his five-year contract with the Pelicans. His last contract was worth about $158 million. However, the teams don’t have so much cap space to invest in him since most of the time for the trade season has already passed.

League insider, Brian Windhorst, gave another reality check to Ingram on the podcast ‘NBA on ESPN,’ stating, “It’s that he is a poster boy for the new reality in the NBA which is you cannot have a max player not playing like a max player.” Well, Ingram did have a tough season last season, and his team experienced a 4-0 clean sweep against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Also, he only posted 12, 18, 19, and 8 points in successive games of the first-round playoff series.

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It is not like Ingram is not drawing interest from any team at all. However, he is injury-prone, and one of the teams, Sacramento Kings, that was interested in the forward has taken Bulls‘ forward DeMar DeRozan, as per ESPN. They have signed a three-year deal, so Ingram is out of the question there due to his maximum extension demands.

Poll of the day

Do you think Brandon Ingram's free agency fate is sealed after the Hawks' rejection?

Yes, it's over

No, he still has a chance

Depends on other teams' interest

Not sure

The Hawks, meanwhile, instead of opting for Ingram, may have taken a convenient way to balance their roster, ensuring Dejounte Murray’s exit and Trae Youngs’ exit.

Atlanta Hawks might have traded Murray rather than Brandon Ingram for peace

Recently, Eddie Johnson appeared on the SiriusXM radio show, showing his concern for the Murray trade. The NBA legend believed that the Hawks let go of their All-Star player for far less worth. Surprisingly, Murray and Trae Young were expected to form one of the best backcourt partnerships in the NBA. Yet the Hawks could not make it past the play-in tournament. That’s why Eddie reflected on the broken Trae-Murray friendship pair, saying, “Trae Young, maybe can do that to you.”

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USA Today via Reuters

Whether it is true or not, it did compel the Hawks to lose a player like Dejounte Murray. However, in the April episode of ‘On the Point’ podcast, Trae shut all the rumors, claiming that his relationship with Murray was “good.” Still, the NBA community knows how things play out in the league. It was a locker room matter that might have sorted itself rather than been publicized.

Whatever might be the case, it seems that the Hawks’ trade purpose was never about Brandon Ingram. He has been looking for a new team for himself, and there doesn’t seem to be a potential suitor at the moment. The question looms: how will things turn out for the NOLA forward? What is your prediction for Ingram’s future ahead? Let us know in the comments.

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Before you go, do not forget to check out what Shaquille O’Neal’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato has to say about the alleged Shaq and Kobe Lakers beef. Keep checking this space for more such updates.