SF: Brandon Ingram
The Lakers drafted Ingram with the second overall pick in 2016 after their worst season in franchise history where they won just 17 games. LA had three straight losing seasons, and Kobe Bryant had just retired. Lakers fans were looking for any reason to get excited about the team.
Ingram got off to a bit of a slow start, but he got better every year. The Lakers missed the playoffs in all three years the 6’8 forward was in LA, but the franchise won more games every season. In his third year, the 21-year-old averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 33.8 minutes.
Anthony Davis wanted to come to the Lakers to play with LeBron, and they were not working out a trade with the Pelicans unless BI was involved. LA had to pay the price to acquire the superstar, and Ingram immediately made a leap in New Orleans. He was an All-Star and the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2020 as he averaged over 23 points and six rebounds per game.
Brandon Ingram made his first playoff appearance in 2022 as the Pelicans were knocked out by the Phoenix Suns in the first round. Injuries have hampered his production in New Orleans, but Ingram is an elite scorer that is looking to help his young team take the next step. The Lakers have zero regrets about the trade after winning the title in 2020, but LA would have loved to keep Ingram long-term.