As the Los Angeles Lakers’ new management eyes dramatic change to revive an illustrious franchise that has fallen to historic lows, there’s only one player on the roster that Earvin “Magic” Johnson considers untouchable: forward Brandon Ingram.
“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.
Lonzo Ball’s representatives “politely said no” to a pre-NBA draft workout for the Celtics, president Danny Ainge said Thursday.
“I think that we’re excited about Brandon, his length, his size, his agility, his athleticism. And then when you think about, you know, he was a baby coming in, in his first year last season and we see that he really has a high ceiling and we’re excited about what he can possibly turn into.”
The 6-foot-9, 190-pound Ingram, a former Duke standout, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft.
In his first season with the Lakers, Ingram averaged 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 28.8 minutes over 79 games.
Magic Johnson is excited about the future of Brandon Ingram with the Lakers. “We see that he really has a high ceiling and we’re excited about what he can possibly turn into,” Johnson said. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Ingram is just one of several young players composing a core the Lakers hope will take key strides forward in coming seasons. The team also has the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft and is widely expected to add UCLA star point guard Lonzo Ball to their roster if he is not taken by the Boston Celtics with the first overall pick.
“We have as good a young core — once we add this pick — as any [team] in the league,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said at the draft lottery in New York earlier this month. “Even the great teams that are dominant — like Golden State — they grew through the draft. We feel like we have that type of core, for sure.”