More than halfway through the 2018/19 NBA season and Brandon Ingram has yet to prove himself as the league's next young star. When the Lakers drafted him in the 2016 NBA Draft, the young Ingram was being compared to Kevin Durant. It's hard to say any comparison of that magnitude is warranted, but coming off his season at Duke, it definitely wasn't that far fetched.
Nowadays, though the Durant comparisons have cooled off big time, Los Angeles is still hoping he'll bud into the star they hoped he would be.
Other teams haven't given up hope on him either, as detailed in a report by Shams Charania in an appearance on ESPN LA’s The Sedano Show.
“Brandon Ingram, obviously he’s had a little bit of an up and down season. He missed some time with injury, the suspension earlier in the year, but still, I think, around the league he has a value as a prospect. A lot of teams still believe in him. He does still come up when teams inquire with the Lakers.”
Ingram still has much value as a player, despite a rather disappointing start to his career. It's an optimistic feeling for the Lakers, who could use the hope that he'll one day step up to expectations.
It also gives them a way out, as trading him (without including Ball or Kuzma) for a decent package in return might still be possible. If teams really are still interested in Ingram, he might be the best bet for the Lakers to improve their roster.
These next few weeks will be important for the team, as Magic Johnson must decide if Ingram is more valuable as a staple for the future, or as a trade piece for another star. If this Laker team keeps sliding, he might start leaning toward the latter.