Shocking prediction has Blazers landing Brandon Ingram in blockbuster trade

Could the Brandon Ingram be the Blazers' missing star to build around?
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Portland Trail Blazers' 2024-25 NBA season roster is set (for now). They have 15 players after picking up Dalano Banton's player option, who will slide in as the third-string point guard after trading away Malcolm Brogdon. However, this doesn't mean the Blazers and general manager Joe Cronin are done making moves this summer. Several established players could be dealt with for the right price as they continue their rebuild.

Centers Deandre Ayton and Robert Williams III are more likely to be dealt after selecting Donovan Clingan with the No. 7 overall pick in this year's draft. Jerami Grant doesn't fit into their rebuilding timeline at 30 years old and has a hefty contract, still owed over $100 million. Anfernee Simons' long-term fit in Portland is questionable as they appear set on building around their future backcourt of Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe. Lastly, Matisse Thybulle could be a valuable addition for a contending team looking to add a defensive wing-stopper.

Portland a 'sneaky team' to land Brandon Ingram

Because of their plethora of trade assets and general manager Joe Cronin's willingness to listen to offers this summer, the Blazers emerge as an under-the-radar team for the remainder of the offseason. Clutch Points' Brett Siegel mentions the Blazers as a "sneaky team to keep an eye on" for Pelicans' star wing, Brandon Ingram. He predicts that Ingram will land with the Blazers this offseason in a "shocking twist."

The Pelicans make sense as trade partners with the Blazers, especially now that Jonas Valanciunas has landed with the Washington Wizards in free agency. The Blazers have gone from having an excess number of guards to a stockpile of centers, with currently four on their roster who are all capable of getting significant minutes.

Ingram is on an expiring contract, and the Blazers should only have interest in acquiring Ingram if he indicates that he is willing to sign a long-term deal with Portland; this could be challenging given that Ingram is entering his prime at 26. The Blazers are likely years away from making a deep playoff run, even if they did add someone like Ingram to their roster.

Blazers potential starting lineup with Ingram

It ultimately depends on what is required for the Pelicans to agree to part ways with Ingram. Portland desperately needs a star to build around, and Ingram could be the missing piece. They could potentially roll out a future starting lineup of:

PG: Scoot Henderson

SG: Shaedon Sharpe

SF: Brandon Ingram

PF: Deni Avdija

C: Donovan Clingan

The Blazers shouldn't completely oppose adding Ingram to their rebuilding core. But the expiring contract is problematic, and the Blazers certainly don't want to sacrifice significant future draft capital to land Ingram if he turns out to be a one-year rental. If they can get a deal done involving some combination of Ayton, Simons, Grant, Williams, and Thybulle, then great. But the Blazers should avoid involving multiple first-round picks to get someone like Ingram, as they are a team focused on the future.