It’s easy to forget just how much of their young core the Lakers have given up over the years.
They sent former #2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell to the Nets for Brook Lopez, they dealt Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to the Cavs for Isaiah Thomas, and they let Julius Randle walk last summer to save themselves some cap space for someone else.
So far, they’ve remained committed to the guys they have left. However, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, there’s good reason to believe another Lakers’ youngster could be on the chopping block.
“Ingram’s lack of consistency and outside shot is problematic for a team with serious championship aspirations after it lured James over the summer,”
Whether or not Ingram is an ideal fit next to James stylistically, the bigger issue may be financial as the Lakers search to add a second star.
Pincus continues to say that if it came down to keeping Ingram or trading him for a star like Anthony Davis, it wouldn’t be a hard choice to make.
Choosing between Davis and Ingram in free agency wouldn’t be a difficult decision for Los Angeles, but it may not come to that. The Lakers just need to show that they’re willing to sacrifice Ingram, like they did Randle this past summer, to have the threat of spending power for Davis.
It’s easy to forget that Ingram is still just 21-years old, there’s plenty of time for him to grow and develop his game. Even if he does, can the Lakers afford to wait?
With LeBron James signed on for another three seasons, and with Father Time looming at this door, the answer is likely no. If Magic wants to truly optimize the Lakers time with LeBron, they’ll need to do what it takes to elevate the team. They need to make hard decisions. They need to trade for another star, even if it involves giving up one of their own.