The Lakers seem to have finally corrected the ship in Los Angeles, building up a young core that includes players such as Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Ivica Zubac and Larry Nance Jr.
Unlike previous years, L.A has been very quiet on the trade market, opting to develop their young players and team chemistry as a whole over trading away assets for a superstar, but that could possibly change down the line.
President of basketball operations for the Lakers, Magic Johnson, joined ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday morning and discussed his plans for the future of the Los Angeles Lakers, including power forward Larry Nance Jr.:
“Our secret weapon is Larry Nance [Jr.], because Larry… we’ve gotten calls from a lot of teams that want to trade for him and Brandon Ingram. We said no. But Larry is such a fundamentally sound basketball player,” Johnson said.
We can take two things away from Magic’s comments: 1. The Lakers seem pretty high on Nance as well as Ingram, and 2. Other teams are very high on Nance and Ingram.
Recent reports have stated that the Lakers consider Brandon Ingram an untouchable player on their roster, which means they’re outright refusing any offer that comes in for him, and Larry Nance may also fall under the same umbrella.
It’s no wonder teams are pursuing a player such as Nance. The 24-year-old power forward is under contract for at least the next two years for the minuscule price of $3.8 million over that span, as well as the ability to keep Nance as a restricted free agent in 2019. For his output, Leaping Larry is a bargain.
It’s still up in the air what the Lakers plans are with Nance, as former 7th overall pick Julius Randle currently holds down the starting power forward spot for L.A. Randle is also due to collect a big paycheck when he hits free agency after next season, so it’s a possibility Julius could be sent packing if the right offer comes through, as the Lakers make an effort to save as much cap space as possible heading into the 2018 offseason.
You can watch the full First Take interview with Magic Johnson below: