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LAKERS IN: Its me against the world LBJ

As the Los Angeles Lakers search for a third star to pair next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, familiar face Brandon Ingram could be a potential player. The former Lakers forward was named an All-Star and won the Most Improved Player award in his first season with the New Orleans Pelicans. In a proposed deal from Stephen Noh of The Sporting News, Ingram would return to the team that drafted him.

Lakers get: Brandon Ingram

Pelicans get: D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, 2024 and 2030 first-round picks

“Could a return to Los Angeles be in the works for Ingram? The Lakers need a third scorer, and this would put him in a more comfortable role. It could also create a nice bridge for the next generation of the team, once LeBron retires,” Noh wrote on May 8 proposing deals for Ingram landing spots. “Ingram has been somewhat of a disappointment as a defender, but he does have good size and the Lakers have the personnel to make him look good on that end of the floor.

“Los Angeles doesn’t have cap space to operate with, so they’d have to match Ingram’s $36.0 million salary. If D’Angelo Russell opted into his deal, then he could be combined with Rui Hachimura to make a trade legal.”

Ingram was traded to the Pelicans by the Lakers in a three-team deal with the Washington Wizards.

Brandon Ingram Considered ‘Most Likely Player to Be Traded’

Ingram had a down year compared to his previous four seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans. His 2023-24 season, in terms of points per game, was comparable to his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers where he averaged 18.3 points per game.

Due to not playing as well as he did in previous seasons and his less-than-ideal fit with Zion Williamson, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that Ingram is considered the ‘most likely’ star player to be traded.

“Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram is considered the most likely player to be traded by rival executives who spoke with HoopsHype,” Scotto wrote in a May 10 story. “Those executives believe the fit with Ingram and Zion isn’t ideal on the court. With Ingram entering the final season of his contract at $36 million, he’s been a trade candidate before, but he’s a prime trade candidate now.”

 

How Ingram Would Help the Los Angeles Lakers

When Ingram’s been at his best over the past few seasons, the 6-foot-8 forward is someone who can score 25-plus points per game on any given night. During the 2022-23 season, Ingram averaged 24.7 points per game, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists.

If the Los Angeles Lakers Lcould add another player who can average nearly 25 points per game and create their own shot at the level Ingram can, it’d be a big help next to James and Davis. Ingram’s shown flashes of shooting the three-point shot at a decent level, too, shooting 39.0% in 2022-23 on 3.6 attempts per game.

According to Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, an Eastern Conference general manager said it’s an idea if they’re willing to take the chance.

“It’s an idea, if they’re willing to take the chance,” one East GM said. “Brandon as a third option with LeBron and Anthony Davis, it certainly makes them better, it gets them back to being a contender, or at least in that orbit.”

Jon Conahan covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. Since 2019, his sports coverage has appeared at Sports Illustrated, oddschecker, ClutchPoints and Sportskeeda. More about Jon Conahan

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