The trade gives LA room for its ultimate plan in the coming summer
There’s no question that all eyes will be on LeBron James over the upcoming free agency period in the summertime, as the best player in the world will have a decision to make — one that could result in another exit from Cleveland.
James did deliver on his promise to bring a championship to the Cavs, but now that Kyrie Irving is gone and Dwyane Wade is back for at least a season together, the Lakers could very well be on his radar next. The business side of things outside of basketball is probably enticing to James, and Magic Johnson knows that.
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He also knows he’ll have to pull every string in the book to get LBJ to wear purple and gold.
Trading Brandon Ingram for Jaylen Brown gets the pressure off of the Lakers to keep waiting for Ingram to develop. You could also make a trade for Brown involving a swap for Julius Randle, but that doesn’t give nearly as much of a relief as a trade involving Ingram would.
Also, you’d have to imagine that Magic Johnson’s patience is only going to last so long, even with guys like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. Ball still has plenty of time, but knowing that Ingram has to produce to avoid issues after the upcoming season, Johnson may also make the deal if he feels his team is better off pursuing a veteran free agent at that position.
Regardless of all of that, something has to give. It’ll either be the Lakers waiting too long on Brandon Ingram before they realize he’s not all that. Or, they could make the smart move now and get him off their hands so grabbing a superstar to pair with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma isn’t as difficult.
It’s not as hard as we make it out to be.