NBA 2018/19: 3 players the Lakers need to keep out of trade talks
Since LeBron James landed in Los Angeles during the offseason, there has been constant speculation over who the Lakers will add next. The team has most notably been linked with Anthony Davis, although a potential trade opens the question over which existing Lakers will be moved as part of the trade.
Here we will look at the three players that Magic Johnson should look to keep out of any trade talks as they are currently providing a positive contribution to the famous franchise.
#3 Josh Hart
Of the much-discussed Lakers' young core, Josh Hart often gets the least attention. The 23-year-old spent four years playing college basketball at Villanova before the Utah Jazz took him as the 30th pick of the 2017 NBA draft.
He was quickly traded to the Lakers to little fanfare, although Hart wasted no time in finding a place in the team's rotation and ended the season averaging 23.2 minutes per game. The young shooting guard has continued to improve in his second season and he is currently averaging 9.5 points while he shooting an impressive .409 from behind the arc.
Hart looks as though he will continue to improve in the coming years, and Magic Johnson should make sure that he can do it in a Lakers jersey.
#2 JaVale McGee
When signed in the 2018 offseason, JaVale McGee looked to be a quick fix that would play at center until Anthony Davis arrived. Despite the low expectations of Lakers fans, McGee has been the team's best player behind LeBron James.
The Lakers are only paying the 30-year-old the veteran's minimum, however, McGee has averaged 13.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Even if the team sign a superstar such as Davis, JaVale McGee has previously demonstrated with the Warriors that he contributes from the bench, so the Lakers would be wise to offer the player a contract extension.
#1 Brandon Ingram
Brandon Ingram has not yet lived up to his huge potential, although many forget that the player has only just turned 21. There have been signs of improvement since the small forward was drafted as an 18-year-old in 2016, and Ingram last year averaged an impressive 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.
The youngster still needs to work on developing his frame, although many still see Ingram as having the potential to become a player similar to Kevin Durant. Ingram has the most trade value on the entire Lakers roster aside from LeBron James, and this puts him in danger of being traded. Los Angeles should however be very hesitant to trade away a player who could develop into a top 5 NBA player within the next five years.
Let us know below which players you think the Lakers must keep hold of. Also visit our dedicated Basketball section for the latest news, rumors, and analysis.