NBA GM floats idea of Brandon Ingram rejoining Lakers

Orel Dizon
4 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In 2016, the Los Angeles Lakers got who they probably thought would be their small forward of the future after drafting Brandon Ingram with the No. 2 pick.

Plans changed when the franchise acquired LeBron James in the 2018 offseason and after Anthony Davis became available in the trade market sometime after. The Lakers had to include Ingram in the trade package that landed them the former New Orleans Pelicans star in the summer of 2019.

A reunion between Los Angeles and Ingram might be a far-fetched idea today, but an anonymous Eastern Conference general manager suggested that the organization consider trading for the former All-Star.

“It’s an idea, if they’re willing to take the chance,” the exec told Heavy Sports about the Lakers potentially reuniting with Ingram. “Brandon as a third option with LeBron and Anthony Davis, it certainly makes them better, it gets them back to being a contender, or at least in that orbit.”

The possible addition of the Duke University product might be an intriguing proposition for the Purple and Gold, as it would provide the team with another bona fide scorer. Ingram averaged 18.3 points per game in his final season with the Lakers, and he has put up 23.1 points per contest in his five campaigns in a Pelicans uniform.

There might be some concerns, though, about how much Los Angeles would have to give up in order to land the 26-year-old star.

However, the general manager implied that Ingram’s fragility could lower his trade value. In addition, New Orleans might have few suitors for him, given that his contract expires at the end of the 2024-25 campaign and some franchises are probably unwilling to break the bank to re-sign him.

“Anyone who trades for Ingram, you’re not going to have to give up a full star package because he gets hurt a lot and because you’ve got to pay him,” the executive added. “That’s why I think the Lakers are on the list, where he might wind up. Because he’s going to have to go somewhere where they can pay him.”

It has been several years since Ingram has been healthy enough to stay on the court for a significant period of time. He has missed at least 18 games in each of the past three seasons.

It’s unclear if the Lakers would be willing to bring in an injury-prone star when James is entering his age-40 campaign. Davis has also had several injury-plagued seasons in recent years.

Moreover, the jury is out on whether Ingram could help address Los Angeles’ defensive woes, which have been evident for the past three seasons.

Only time will tell how the Lakers’ offseason goes and if their former lottery selection is in their plans.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.