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B/R’s Trade Proposal Sends KAT to Pelicans, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr. to Timberwolves

The New Orleans Pelicans are looking to trade Brandon Ingram this summer, while the Minnesota Timberwolves might need to move either Karl-Anthony Towns or Rudy Gobert to avoid a hefty luxury tax under the new CBA rule.

Despite recent reports that suggest the Timberwolves are willing to pay the luxury tax to keep their current roster intact for next season, a trade proposal from Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report could change the landscape.

Hughes suggests a trade centered around Karl-Anthony Towns and Brandon Ingram this offseason:

The Trade: The New Orleans Pelicans would acquire Karl-Anthony Towns from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., and a 2027 first-round pick (via Milwaukee).

Ingram, with one year left on his contract, averaged 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.6 blocks this season, shooting 49.2% from the field, 35.5% from three-point range, and 80.1% from the free-throw line.

Towns, on the other hand, posted averages of 21.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks, with shooting percentages of 50.4% from the field, 41.6% from beyond the arc, and 87.3% from the charity stripe.

Hughes elaborates, “Here, the Wolves would get back Ingram and Nance, who’ll earn $36 million and $11.2 million, respectively, on expiring contracts in 2024-25. For a Minnesota team that struggled to scored, Ingram, whose main skill is creating something-from-nothing offense, could address a real need. Ingram could start between Jaden McDaniels and Anthony Edwards, where he’d be shielded from tough defensive matchups. Minnesota could also start Naz Reid in an ultra-big look that sends Mike Conley to the bench in a sixth-man role, which might not be the worst way to prop up reserve units that struggle to get buckets.

“Rim protection has been an issue in New Orleans throughout free-agent-to-be Jonas Valančiūnas‘ tenure. Towns wouldn’t help much there, but he’d fill the floor-spacing-5 void, potentially unlocking the most lethal version of Zion Williamson‘s downhill game. Five-out looks featuring Towns, one of the most dangerous shooting bigs in NBA history, could bring out the best in everyone on the Pels roster. New Orleans would give back plenty on D, but Herb Jones might be good enough on his own to ensure that the team still finishes in the top half of the league on that end.”

Ingram’s career averages are 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks with the Los Angeles Lakers and Pelicans, having won the Most Improved Player of the Year Award in 2019-20.

Meanwhile, Towns boasts career averages of 22.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks. The four-time All-Star was the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Kentucky. Ingram is set to earn $36 million next season, while Towns will make $49.4 million.

The Pelicans exited this year’s playoffs in the first round, losing in four games to the OKC Thunder. The Timberwolves, however, fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the conference finals, bowing out in five games.

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