As the February 8 trade deadline approaches, rumors continue to circulate around the Los Angeles Lakers who are expected to move young players like Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. Brandon Ingram, who is considered untouchable on the Lakers’ roster, is trying to help his teammates stay in Los Angeles for the remainder of the season.
In their 108-104 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Lakers showed what they are capable of doing when they play together as a team. All of the Lakers starters scored double-digits and showed an impressive performance on the defensive end of the floor. However, according to ESPN, Brandon Ingram is forcing himself to play despite suffering a sore groin injury.
Ingram is definitely aware of the rumors surrounding the team, especially with Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. Several NBA teams have already expressed interest in Clarkson and Randle where the Lakers could potentially acquire a package including a first-round pick. Ingram knows how important the succeeding games will be for his teammates since it could have a huge effect on the Lakers’ decision before the February 8 trade deadline.
“This game today meant more to my teammates than anything,” Ingram said. “So it was important for me to stay out there.”
Since being drafted as the second overall pick in 2016, Brandon Ingram continues to grow as a vocal leader and a future superstar. He has shown a huge improvement in his game, averaging 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists on 44.9 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Ingram believes winning games and establishing good performance may convince the Lakers to keep their current roster.
However, as everyone knows, the Lakers already revealed their plan to pursue two superstars in the upcoming free agency. The move will require them to trade several players, especially Luol Deng and his lucrative contract. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN explained on The Lowe Post (h/t Lakers Outsiders) how the Lakers can get rid of Deng before the 2018 free agency starts.
Shelburne suggested the Lakers should make a trade before the NBA trade deadline and at the NBA draft. The assets they could get from moving Clarkson, Randle, and Nance Jr. could be used to find a team who will absorb Deng’s contract. It may look simple but it will undeniably be a long process for the Lakers.
As of now, it remains unknown what the Lakers plan to do in the coming days. Expect more rumors to circulate involving the Lakers’ young core as the February 8 trade deadline approaches.