Why the Lakers traded Brandon Ingram last week for Kyle Lowe is still a mystery.
The Lakers signed Lowry to a four-year, $80 million contract with the expectation that the young point guard would be a cornerstone to a championship team.
And, despite Ingram being an NBA All-Star, Lowry has been overshadowed by the rest of the point guard crop and has struggled to establish himself as a reliable option off the bench.
But now, the Lakers have found a guy who is a proven NBA player, and the team has the opportunity to add a veteran presence to a core that has not produced enough in recent seasons.
While Ingram is not going to be the savior the Lakers needed this offseason, he’s a player who can help the team’s transition to being more consistent at the position.
Here are some other big takeaways from the trade.
The trade is not a “buy” on Ingram.
The Clippers are going to have to make some difficult decisions to find the right pieces for the team moving forward, especially when it comes to upgrading a core.
The team has plenty of young talent on the roster and some big-name veterans like Jordan Farmar and Ty Lawson, who will be free agents after next season, are likely on the market, along with players like Lou Williams and Jared Dudley.
The Kings are expected to be serious buyers for several veterans, including Chris Kaman and Joffrey Lauvergne, but the Lakers still have plenty of room to upgrade, and Ingram is a player the team could use as a building block for the future.
The L.A. Lakers will not go after Ingram’s Bird rights.
It’s not a bad trade to make at this point in the process.
But the team would have to be willing to pay the salary for a restricted free agent, and it would have been difficult to get a deal done for an asset that is on the open market for at least the next three years.
This is a great move by the Lakers and a solid sign that the franchise is in a better place than it was in 2016.
The Nets won’t take Ingram off the market.
Brooklyn and the Lakers could still reach an agreement to swap Ingram for a pick in the 2018 draft.
The pick is a top-three pick, so the Lakers will have to take it before it is dealt, but there is plenty of time to get that done.
The Timberwolves won’t trade Ingram.
Minnesota is expected to trade Kevin Love for the first pick in 2018, but that’s not the plan.
Minnesota would have needed to trade Love to get the pick, but it doesn’t appear they are willing to do that right now.
The Wolves are not willing to give up a first-round pick to move up, and they are also likely not going into free agency this offseason and likely won’t be able to re-sign Kevin Love.
The Heat won’t move Ingram.
Miami’s focus is on landing a big-time free agent for Hassan Whiteside.
The Dolphins have a solid roster of players and a proven star in Dion Jordan, but Miami still has to get rid of Hassan Whitesides contract.
They’re still in the market for a starting point guard, and Miami could still land the best possible option for Whiteside in 2018.
The Cavs will not move Ingram to Miami.
The Cavaliers have no immediate needs at point guard and are in a rebuilding mode, but they could make a play for the big-money free agent in 2018 if they can land Whiteside for a top four pick.
The Sixers can keep Ingram.
It would be hard to argue that the Lakers couldn’t have done this with Ingram, but now they’ve found someone who can step in and be a solid piece for the next four years.
The Knicks can keep him.
The Bulls are in the rebuild stage and have not brought back Jimmy Butler in the past two years, but with the additions of Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson, the Knicks could be in the mix to bring back Ingram.
The Warriors can keep it.
The Rockets could also be in talks to trade for Ingram, and he is an important piece to building a championship contender in the East.
The Pistons can keep them.
The Detroit Pistons could also trade for him, but his production has dipped since his rookie season.
The Pacers can keep It.
The Spurs have shown interest in trading for him in the summer, but he is not an option at the moment.
The Celtics can keep the trade, but can’t make it happen.
Boston has a good core of young players, but Boston’s front office is not ready to make a big move at the trade deadline.
The Nuggets can keep their trade.
Denver is not looking to get in the luxury tax this year, and a trade for the veteran wing could help the Nuggets improve at the expense of losing Kyle Lowry. 14