Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson revealed that they are planning to make a huge change this summer to make the franchise great again. Johnson opens the possibility of making all his players available on the trade market in the upcoming offseason except Brandon Ingram.
“I would say probably the only player that we would say, hey, we would probably not move is Brandon Ingram,” Johnson said Thursday in a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles. “I think that we’re excited about Brandon, his length, his size, his agility, his athleticism. And then when you think about, you know, he was a baby coming in, in his first year last season and we see that he really has a high ceiling and we’re excited about what he can possibly turn into.”
Brandon Ingram eyed as the next face of the LA Lakers
In his first season with the Lakers, Brandon Ingram failed to live up to expectations from a second overall pick. He struggled to become consistent on both ends of the floor. However, with his incredible working ethics, Ingram managed to show a massive improvement in the final games of the 2016-17 NBA season.
In 79 games he played last season, he averaged 9.4 points, four rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 40.2 percent shooting from the field. Coach Luke Walton let him play three different positions to know what he’s capable of. Aside from usual position at small forward, Ingram also played as a playmaker and shooting guard.
With Johnson’s statements, it seems like the Lakers see Ingram as the next face of the franchise. In the upcoming offseason, Johnson urged Ingram to workout with Kobe Bryant. Ingram happily agreed and said that he really wanted to learn the “Mamba Mentality.”
GM Rob Pelinka thinks LA Lakers have the same blueprint with GSW
Like Johnson, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka remains optimistic that the purple and gold will rise to the top once again. Pelinka found similarities on the path they are currently taking with the Golden State Warriors.
“We have as good a young core — once we add this pick — as any [team] in the league,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said at the draft lottery in New York earlier this month. “Even the great teams that are dominant — like Golden State — they grew through the draft. We feel like we have that type of core, for sure.”
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