The New Orleans Pelicans are aware that Brandon Ingram has potential. However, his progress can only come to fruition if he stays healthy. And this is seen as the likely reason why the Pels did not give the former second overall pick a contract extension.

Ingram, previously branded as the second coming of Kevin Durant, has shown promise. He almost lived up to that hype last season. Unfortunately, a deep vein thrombosis in his arm forced him to miss the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season. Prior to that, he averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 52 games.

The second overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft was part of the Anthony Davis trade. The Los Angeles Lakers sent Ingram to New Orleans together with Alonzo Ball and Josh Hart. Critics were skeptical about Ingram's injury and most saw a cloudy future. So far, he has been proving them wrong.

Despite not getting a contract extension, it appears Ingram understands his situation. In an interview with Andrew Lopez of ESPN, the 22-year-old cager revealed that talks were ongoing. His agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, and Pelicans VP David Griffin have been in tough. And from the looks of it, there is some mutual agreement on the case of the 6-foot9 forward and his future.

“Me and Griff talk. Me and my agent talk. We have good conversations,” said Ingram.

For the record, Ingram was not the only one who did not get a contract extension on Monday. The list includes Jakob Poetl of the San Antonio Spurs, Thon Maker of the Detroit Pistons and Damian Jones. The good news is that these players could end up with better deals moving ahead. However, they need to do well for the coming NBA season.

For Ingram, staying healthy is a must. Especially with rookie Zion Williamson missing the early part of the 2019-20 season, he is expected to get some playing time. If he can replicate last year's performance with the Lakers, his stock is likely to get a boost. Teams know what a healthy Ingram can do on the basketball court and this season is pivotal.

Ingram gets a chance to show that on Oct. 23 when the Pelicans visit the Toronto Raptors. Tip-off starts at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Raptors are favorites to prevail in this season opener for both teams.

Brandon Ingram
Brandon Ingram draws praise for keeping composure in the midst of vicious NBA trade talks. Brandon Ingram #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to his layup during a 111-106 win over the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on February 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/Harry How