Magic Johnson is determined to right the ship for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team’s new president of basketball operations, and it appears he’s got a lot of faith in Brandon Ingram as potentially the new face of the franchise.
On Thursday, Magic made another radio appearance on ESPN Los Angeles to talk about all things Lakers. Johnson, who never shies away from controversial topics, was asked if there was anyone on the current squad that he would consider untouchable in trade scenarios. Ingram appears to be that player, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
“I would say probably the only player that we would say, hey, we would probably not move is Brandon Ingram,” Johnson, the Lakers president of basketball operations said Thursday in a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles.
Ever since the rumor surfaced about Paul George’s desire to play for the Lakers earlier this year, the trade speculation has been swirling in Los Angeles about a potential deal with the Indiana Pacers. George seems to be on the way out one way or another with his hometown Lakers being the most likely destination.
Apparently, if Magic truly sticks to this stance, Ingram won’t be a player dealt in a potential trade for George or anyone else for that matter. Obviously, this puts a lot of pressure on some of the other talented young players in Los Angeles like D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson who now appear to be expendable if a trade scenario comes along that the Lakers brass wants to act on.
At this point, Magic and company are putting all their energy into the upcoming NBA Draft and evaluating as many prospects as they can. The Lakers own the No. 2 and 28 picks in the first round. Although trading these picks can’t be ruled out, Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka will continue the process of evaluating players with less than a month left before the draft on June 22.