Los Angeles Lakers: Why Brandon Ingram should be included in AD trade

NBA Los Angeles Lakers Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
NBA Los Angeles Lakers Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Exploring why the Los Angeles Lakers shouldn’t hesitate in including Brandon Ingram in a trade for Anthony Davis

We are still waiting for Brandon Ingram to “arrive.”

Magic Johnson, President of Los Angeles Lakers basketball operations and Hall of Famer, continues to latch on to the belief that the third-year forward will turn into a star. It was advertised that Ingram would reach a bit of stardom alongside LeBron James, but that has not been the case.

Through 41 games this season, Ingram averages 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. Head coach Luke Walton has seemingly been forced to give Ingram a huge amount of playing time.

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This is happening largely to validate why he was taken with the second overall pick in 2016. Furthermore, Ingram was picked by former Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, who is no longer apart of the front office.

Johnson has given Ingram the chance to shine, but at 21 years old, it may be time for him to be shipped off.

It has been reported recently that the Lakers first offer to the Pelicans was a package of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick. I don’t think trading Kuzma is the smart move, but this is Anthony Davis we are talking about here.

Davis is widely regarded as a top-five player on the planet and will soon take the throne as the new face of the NBA for years to come. Entering his sixth All-Star game selection (which he will be doubtful to play in), Davis is box office.

Los Angeles needs a box office attraction to go alongside King James.

In order for the Lakers to snag the big-time forward, Ingram will have to be added to the trade. This may seem a bit strange considering Ingram is not a marque talent.

Once Davis is gone, the Pelicans may become one of the most mediocre teams in the league. They will not be horrible as they will still have good talent.

For the post-Davis era, the Pelicans will have to bank on potential. Ingram has lots of it.

He has shown flashes of greatness during his time as a Laker. On Jan. 29, Ingram dropped a career-high 36 points against the Philadelphia 76ers, shooting an impressive 80 percent from the floor.

This was during James’ absence and when Jimmy Butler was his primary defender.

Not only has he shown scoring ability, Ingram is also a willing passer. Against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 17, Ingram dished out a career-high 11 assists.

Although I believe the Lakers should keep Kuzma at all costs, it will be hard for the Pelicans to say yes without him. The Pelicans have to get a package that allows them to reboot once Davis is gone.

Ingram is the missing piece to the trade. His young career has taken gradual steps and to survive in the LA market, you need to be big time.

Inserting the Duke product into the deal would be a win-win situation for both teams. The Pelicans have all the leverage, especially with Davis being under contract for one more season.

Pairing Ingram with the likes of Jrue Holiday, a resurging Jahlil Okafor and ex-Laker Julius Randle would do wonders for Head Coach Alvin Gentry.

That’s a bunch of young thoroughbreds on one squad. Not saying they will be contenders, but they will have the players to give teams a handful night in and night out.

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The Lakers obviously are trying to make the push as soon as possible due to James’ physical clock. There is not much time to waste for Johnson and Rob Pelinka, especially if they are hoping to reboot “Showtime.”

It’s time to let go of Ingram. The lights of Staples Center may be a little bit too bright for him.