Pelicans May Be Down to Only One Duke Basketball Product Soon

Zion Williamson appears to anchor the Pelicans' long-term plans, but that's not the case with their other Duke basketball one-and-done.
Former Duke basketball players Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram
Former Duke basketball players Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Former Duke basketball stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson have been New Orleans Pelicans teammates since the 2019-20 season. That year, the Pelicans set an NBA Blue Devil record with five of them on their roster, also including JJ Redick, Jahlil Okafor, and Frank Jackson.

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But ever since Redick's retirement following his 2020-21 campaign, Ingram and Williamson have been the only Blue Devils in town, albeit as centerpieces alongside CJ McCollum.

And there is now talk of potential moves this offseason that would leave the Pelicans, who were recently swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, with only one Duke basketball talent in the 23-year-old Williamson, the No. 1 overall draft pick to New Orleans in 2019. Of course, that's barring some other Blue Devil addition via free agency, the trade route, or NBA Draft.

On Saturday afternoon, NBA insider Evan Sidery reported that New Orleans "is not expected to offer Brandon Ingram a contract extension this offseason."

Sidery explained the situation:

"Ingram is eligible to sign a four-year, $208 million deal, but New Orleans will be going in another direction. Trey Murphy III is also eligible for a rookie-scale extension expected to pay him $20-25 million annually. All signs point towards New Orleans prioritizing Murphy over Ingram as their wing of the future.

"New Orleans will have Ingram’s $36 million salary and valuable draft capital to attempt to pair another star alongside Zion Williamson."

After playing three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, who drafted him No. 2 overall in 2016, Brandon Ingram headed to Louisiana as part of a trade. The 26-year-old pride of Kinston, N.C., has never averaged less than 20 points across his five years with the Pelicans, but it's worth noting that his 20.8 points per outing this season marked his lowest in New Orleans.

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Stay tuned to Blue Devil Country on SI for more Duke basketball news.

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Matt Giles


Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on