NBA Rumors: New Orleans Pelicans must choose between Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram this offseason?

The New Orleans Pelicans may have a big decision to makek this offseason.
Sacramento Kings v New Orleans Pelicans
Sacramento Kings v New Orleans Pelicans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: There are whispers that the New Orleans Pelicans will have to choose between Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram during the offseason.

At the NBA All-Star Break, the New Orleans Pelicans find themselves tied with the Phoenix Suns for 5th in the Western Conference standings with a 33-22 record. Heading into the stretch run, they're three games back of the fourth-seeded Denver Nuggets. For as encouraging as this season has been thus far, there are still plenty of questions that surround this team heading into the offseason, with the biggest of such revolving around the future of their core.

There's one player in particular whose future is very much up in the air, and that's Brandon Ingram. He's going to enter next season in the final year of his contract if he doesn't sign a contract extension during the summer and there were some whispers (before the season) that the dynamic between Ingram and Zion Williamson may not be where the team wants it to be. In fact, there's an underlying belief that perhaps the Pelicans will end up having to choose between keeping Zion as a main centerpiece of the franchise vs. paying Ingram what he's likely going to demand on the open market.

According to a recent report, the Pelicans could be approaching the moment in which they have to make a decision between Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram and at least one Eastern Conference executive believes that it could happen at some point this offseason.

Should the New Orleans Pelicans split up their star duo?

Even though splitting up Zion and Ingram may not seem like a smart move, there does come a time when the Pelicans are going to have to evaluate whether this is a duo that can take them to the heights they want to go. And that decision likely comes now, especially considering Ingram needs an extension.

The last thing the Pelicans want to do is lose Zion for nothing in free agency after next season. That's why making a decision on the future of the team likely has to come in the next few months. If New Orleans doesn't believe that the duo of Zion and Ingram can take the Pelicans to a place where they can compete at a high level in the Western Conference, perhaps splitting them up makes sense heading into the offseason.

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The way the Pelicans close the regular season and how they perform in the playoffs will have a huge hand in how the team approaches the offseason. If the Pelicans fall flat in the postseason, perhaps a big move could be on the horizon for New Orleans.