Brandon Ingram is the most important player in the NBA

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

It’s not just the future of the Los Angeles Lakers that Brandon Ingram holds the keys to.

Let’s sit back for a second a realize the situation that the Lakers are in to help also realize how important Brandon Ingram is to them and the rest of the league. Who the Lakers can pick up in free agency, if anybody, is probably the most asked question from even as early as last summer with the curiosity Magic Johnson chooses not to hide whatsoever.

That being said, both of their top targets play the position that Brandon Ingram is at currently.

To keep it short, the reason that Brandon Ingram is the most important player in the NBA is because he is both replaceable and irreplaceable at the same time and depending on how you slice it, the consequences that come with those parameters are extreme to polar opposite ends.

He’s replaceable in the sense that Johnson wouldn’t hesitate, it seems, to force him to play shooting guard or come off the bench depending on how this summer goes. That then begins the more obvious process of him wanting out of LA because of the player that he is and he knows that what he brings to the table is clearly more valuable elsewhere.

More from LA Sports Hub

And don’t say the Lakers wouldn’t do that, because they’ve already done it with D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson who are both having to start over because the Lakers decided to be impatient.

The alternative is the approach that he is irreplaceable. By this logic, the Lakers might not ever land that elusive superstar or two in free agency no matter what year it is and regardless of the fact that someone like Magic Johnson is in the right position to make something happen.

Where the problem lies for the Lakers is that they’ve already been guilty of dabbling in both worlds. To the first point, the Lakers have shown no signs of caution when it comes to how they’ll approach Paul George and LeBron James, at the very least.

To say that it’s the go hard or go home approach would be a gross understatement. Not only that, but as mentioned above, it makes things a little uncertain for just exactly how Ingram fits in the master plan that this front office has.

Then, to the latter point, the Lakers are seeing a whole different kind of player when Lonzo Ball is healthy, and that’s largely because things around him aren’t moving around as much and with someone like Ingram, consistency matters.

And any inconsistency or chaos is going to be directly reflected in how he plays the game.

With that being said, there is no other more polarizing player — by no accident or decision of his own — in the NBA than Brandon Ingram. He has the power to lead the Lakers on his own, but also the power to lead them astray in believing that a lesser role will help them  ultimately get back into a championship type of mindset and ability.

Next: Should The Lakers Draft Aaron Holiday?

All of this only makes the summer not come soon enough.