Team USA played its first showcase exhibition game on Monday night and Los Angeles Lakers fans had plenty to watch with Austin Reaves tearing the house down. Reaves more than looked like he belonged on a roster filled with young stars and multiple-time all-stars.
The roster for the 2023 FIBA World Cup may not be as stacked as it typically is for the Olympics but there is still plenty of talent that will produce high-quality basketball. Reaves not only looking like he belonged — but looking better than some of his star teammates — proves that he could be a future star in this league.
Even with Reaves looking like a star, Lakers fans in attendance in Las Vegas were trying to recruit the team’s next superstar teammate to play alongside Anthony Davis after his record-breaking contract extension.
Lakers fans are trying to recruit Brandon Ingram back to LA during Team USA exhibition.
Brandon Ingram was the key player that the Lakers traded in the Anthony Davis trade and he has seen his game elevate to a new level since leaving Los Angeles. A one-time all-star, Ingram is one of the more promising young stars in the league at only 25 years old.
The fan trying to recruit Ingram back to Los Angeles may be on to something. There actually is an avenue in which the team can bring Ingram back with multiple things lining up in the Lakers’ favor.
First of all is Ingram’s contract. Ingram is a free agent after the 2024-25 season, which lines up with when the Lakers will have ample cap space. LeBron James’ contract ends that summer, as does D’Angelo Russell’s (both players have a player option for the 2024-25 season, however).
If Jayson Tatum ends up signing an extension in Boston and does not become a realistic target then Ingram could be a nice fallback option. The Lakers will have the financial flexibility to bring him in and have shown a tendency to bring back former Lakers.
Multiple players have had two stints with the Lake Show since Rob Pelinka started calling the shots in the front office. Dwight Howard, Dennis Schroder and Avery Bradley have all had two stints on the team under Pelinka. Pelinka has shown a tendency to bring back former Lakers and Ingram obviously checks that box.
Will this recruiting from Lakers fans have any impact on Ingram’s decision? Not at all. But it could be some foreshadowing of what could happen in the future.