Former Laker Seen as Potential Centerpiece in Blockbuster Kevin Durant Trade

Brandon Ingram, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Brandon Ingram, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers might boast an aging roster now, but thing’s weren’t always like this, in fact, before the Anthony Davis trade, the Lakers had a young roster full of upside.

And now, it appears that Brandon Ingram, one of the centerpieces in the Davis trade, is currently seen as one of the best trade chips in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes – assuming the New Orleans Pelicans wish to get in on the trade discussions.

“Getting that from a player set to turn 25 in September would allow Brooklyn to perhaps enter something of a two-track rebuild. Ingram is good enough to be the centerpiece of a competitive team, but he’s also young enough to be on a similar timeline with players Brooklyn would select over the next several drafts,” Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey wrote on August 3.

The Lakers selected Ingram with the 2nd overall pick during the 2016 NBA Draft, and the Duke alumn spent three seasons donning the Purple and Gold before being traded to the Pelicans in 2019. During his time in Los Angeles, Ingram averaged 13.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 45.8% from the field and 32.9% from deep.

Lakers Urged to Swap Star Duos With Brooklyn

It’s no secret that the Lakers have coveted Kyrie Irving this summer, and while the team has been unsuccessful in their negotiations thus far, they still have plenty of time to reach an agreement on a potential deal.

However, a source recently told Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus that the Lakers should turn their attention toward making a trade for both Irving and Durant, with Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis heading to the Brooklyn Nets as the return package.

“I’d be willing to trade him for multiple role players and put one of the picks on the table. If you want both picks, it has to be for something more exciting than just a couple of rotation guys who probably don’t move the needle for title contention. What about [the Utah Jazz] for Mike Conley and Bojan [Bogdanovic]? Send Westbrook and one of the picks. They’re useful and potentially cheaper to get because of slightly negative-value contracts,” The source told Pincus for his July 28 column.

LeBron Wants Lakers to Trade Westbrook

One of the league’s worst-kept secrets this summer is that LeBron James is a driving force behind the Lakers looking to trade Westbrook – despite the superstar forward being an instrumental reason why the Lakers acquired the guard in the first place.

“As it stands, barring a trade to ship out Westbrook suddenly coalescing after weeks of fruitless talks, Ham is going to have to coach Westbrook, which is bound to be challenging in the extreme given that Westbrook is well aware that the Lakers have been trying hard to move him…And that James badly wants Irving to take his place,” Marc Sein reported during a July 29 edition of his newsletter.

Unfortunately for LeBron, things are looking increasingly likely that Westbrook will remain with the Lakers for the remainder of his contract – so, unless Los Angeles is willing to up their trade offer for Irving, or to attach some future draft assets onto Westbrook, we will likely see the same trio of superstars suiting up for the Lakers next season.

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