The Los Angeles Lakers think very highly of forward Brandon Ingram. The former Duke star made quite an impression on the Lakers brass after a better-than-expected finish to his rookie season.
Ingram impressed the new Lakers regime so much so that he has become the only player on the team that is considered to be untouchable. Magic Johnson, the new president of basketball operations for the Lakers, recently stated that Ingram wouldn't be included in any trades made by the team and it appears the franchise is sticking to that stance, according to Mark Medina of the OC Register:
"The Lakers have also fielded trade inquiries in recent weeks that include their No. 2 pick. The Lakers have listened to offers, but they maintain that second-year forward Brandon Ingram is not available. The Lakers like Ingram’s steady growth with his defense, shooting and aggressiveness as he strives to add more muscle to his wiry frame. Meanwhile, the Lakers have heard from prospects that they would like to play alongside Ingram."
With Ingram giving the Lakers brass a peek at his potential to finish out his rookie campaign, the team appears to be comfortable building around the 19-year-old. Unless the Lakers acquire a proven star like a Paul George or Jimmy Butler, Ingram could quickly become the new face of the franchise in the post-Kobe Bryant era.
The next order of business for the Lakers is deciding what to do with their picks in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft. On June 22, Magic and company will head into the draft with the No. 2 and 28 picks at their disposal and difficult decisions to make with plenty of talent to choose from.
With less than a week left before draft day, Lonzo Ball out of UCLA continues to be the favorite to be taken by the Lakers. That could very well change in the days leading up to the draft with Markelle Fultz (Washington), Josh Jackson (Kansas), De'Aaron Fox (Kentucky) and Jayson Tatum (Duke) all being intriguing at No. 2.