Pelicans Notes: Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, Willy Hernangomez

Not even Brandon Ingram could save the Pelicans. He returned after two months away, sidelined by a big toe injury, and New Orleans lost to the visiting Timberwolves anyway.Brandon Ingram

“I know I’m going to be all right in everything that I do, especially on nights like this. It’s only good motivation,” Ingram said, via Will Guillory of The Athletic. “But it’s important for the whole team to be on the same page in the habits and stuff that we do on a nightly basis. … Just trying to get back to doing the little things on the floor that’s going to make us a lot better.”

The Pelicans have lost six straight and have won just three of their previous 14 games overall. And power forward Zion Williamson is still a couple of weeks away from returning from a hamstring injury.

But shooting guard CJ McCollum indicated it’s no time to panic. After all, the Pelicans (26-23) still enter Thursday in fourth place in the Western Conference.

“It’s a long season. We talked about this when we won six or seven in a row and people were praising us like we were the best thing since basketball was invented,” McCollum said, via Guillory. “Now, we lose a few games and it’s the end of the world and we need changes. Fans are victims of the moment far too often. … (Once healthy), I think it changes the way our team looks. Right now, it’s about holding steady, building on our principles and having discipline.”

Here’s more out of New Orleans …

  • The Pelicans are among the teams that reached out to the Hawks about available forward John Collins, as we relayed here. But it seems the sides came nowhere close to a trade proposal.
  • The Celtics and Heat have trade interest in center Willy Hernangomez, as relayed by EuroBasket. That said, he seems to be a favorite of his teammates in New Orleans. “I don’t want Willy to leave. I love him,” forward Larry Nance Jr. “He gives the best of himself every day, on the track, outside of it… But it’s not my career. If it happens, I’ll be happy about this new opportunity for him. I’m his biggest fan.”
  • Several Eastern Conference playoff contenders have expressed trade interest in guard Devonte’ Graham, sources told Hoops Wire. Graham’s deal is guaranteed for about $12 million next season, but only partially guaranteed the year after that.

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