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Pelicans Preparing For Brandon Ingram's Record-Breaking Season

The New Orleans Pelicans can start preparing announcements for Brandon Ingram's takeover of the franchise’s record books next season.

The New Orleans Pelicans can start preparing the graphics for television and social media broadcasts. Brandon Ingram will be erasing some names from several pages in the franchise’s record books next season.

According to the old coaching adage, the best ability is availability. Ingram (184) donned a New Orleans uniform 178 times in the regular season before a breakout six-game playoff debut against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns. Zion Williamson's running mate should pass Ryan Anderson (230) for 10th all-time in games played around the NBA All-Star break.

Stars play the most minutes and the former Laker has been shouldering the burden of carrying the Pelicans the past three seasons. The 2016 NBA Draft's second overall pick usually plays around 1,800-2,000 minutes per season. Ingram would end the season 6th all-time in minutes played if that consistency continues and will start the 2022-23 season with fewer turnovers the Tyreke Evans.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)

Ingram’s Tremendous Traditional Stats

Making shots is almost as important as being available for a hoops star. The 2020 NBA Most Improved Player honoree is already 5th all-time in New Orleans free throws (1010), free throws made (860), field goals attempted (3180) and shots made (1473). Another few seasons will be needed to catch the franchise’s four most important players. David West, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, and Jrue Holiday are at least 2,800 shots and over 3,000 points ahead of Ingram.

However, only Davis (23.7) has averaged more points per game than Ingram (23.4). Give it time though, as even P.J. Brown has taken more two-point shots than Ingram in New Orleans, though that should change midway through the season and maybe before New Year 2023 parties pop the champagne.

The 2016 ACC Freshman of the Year should pass Eric Gordon, Rasual Butler, and Chris Paul for the fourth-most three-pointers made playing ball for the Big Easy’s home team. Ingram is at least two seasons away from catching Jrue Holiday (628) for the top spot.

He could take the 10th rebounding spot by grabbing 363 total boards. Ingram's highest mark is 380 boards in his first season with New Orleans. This milestone could come this season but it might have to wait for the playoffs. Likewise, a career-average year in assists would still vault the 2020 All-Star selection to third all-time behind only Paul and Holiday.

Brandon Ingram

Ingram Passes Analytics vs. Eye Test

Quite simply, Ingram has passed every basketball test going back to grade school and gained respect as a locker room leading professional. Whether it is the analytics crowd or the eye test scouts, Ingram’s breakout performance in his NBA Playoffs debut got the attention of the whole league.

In fact, the former Duke Blue Devil is within striking distance of being the greatest player in franchise history going strictly by Player Efficiency Rating. Only Chris Paul’s 25.2 PER (2nd) and the 27.4 PER by Anthony Davis (1st) are beyond the 0.5 PER of Ingram (18.9).

No one in team history has a higher usage rate than Ingram’s 28.5 percent. He is 10th in Offensive Rating and only Davis and Tyson Chandler have a better true shooting percentage as full-time starters than Ingram (6th). Jaxson Hayes (.681) tops the list but Zion Williamson should take the top spot once he plays enough games to qualify. Cheick Diallo and Josh Hart round out the top five.

The 24-year-old Kingston, North Carolina native is 9th in Offensive Win Shares, 4th in Box Plus/Minus, and 7th in all-time for New Orleans looking at value over a replacement. However, rumors around a Kevin Durant trade have all but revealed the front office sees Ingram as irreplaceable. Ingram's future on a five-year deal through the rest of his twenties is brighter than the very expensive last three or four years of Durant's career.

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