Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram Expected To Recover in 3-4 Months

Brandon Ingram should be recovered well before the start of training camp after undergoing surgery on his right arm today, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The operation was necessary after a medical exam last week revealed deep venous thrombosis, which is caused by a blood clot, prompting the Lakers to shut down Ingram for the rest of the season. Surgeons removed the clot today, which should help facilitate blood flow.

“This couldn’t have been a better set of facts for a clot,” Ingram’s agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, told McMenamin.

Schwartz also explained that Ingram’s condition differs from other high-profile blood clot cases such as Chris Bosh and Mirza Teletovic. Ingram’s blood clots stemmed from the makeup of his body instead of his blood.

“It’s a night and day difference between a hematological issue, or a blood issue however you want to put it, and a structural issue,” Schwartz said. “This was not related to his blood producing something that would cause blood clots. This was purely structural.”

Ingram is projected to make a full recovery in three to four months, which would be in late June or July. The normal recovery from this type of operation involves taking blood thinners for a month or two, but not longer. Sources told McMenamin that Ingram could likely resume basketball activities in about eight weeks and should be fully healthy another month or two later.

The operation comes at a crucial time in Ingram’s career. He is eligible to receive a rookie scale extension from the Lakers this summer and has been rumored as part of trade proposals to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis. Ingram was putting up his best stats this season, averaging 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, and was scoring 27.8 PPG since the All-Star break.

Brandon Ingram Undergoes Surgery On Right Arm

MARCH 16, 1:24pm: Ingram underwent thoracic outlet decompression surgery on his right arm Saturday, the team’s PR department tweets. He is expected to make a full recovery prior to the start of next season.

MARCH 9, 12:40pm: Health problems continue to plague the Lakers, who announced today in a press release that further testing on Brandon Ingram‘s sore right shoulder “revealed a Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) in his arm.” Ingram is expected to miss the rest of the 2018/19 season, according to the club.

Ingram, 21, had been enjoying the best stretch of his 2018/19 season prior to missing the last two games with a sore shoulder. Since returning from an ankle injury in late December, Ingram had averaged 20.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .510/.333/.697 shooting in 32 games, helping to re-establish his place among the league’s most promising young prospects.

Ingram’s health issue is the latest in a string of them for the Lakers’ young core. Lonzo Ball has been sidelined since January 19 with an ankle injury and there’s no guarantee he’ll return this season. Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma is currently on the shelf with a minor ankle sprain of his own.

The trio of youngsters could have been in line for significant roles down the stretch, with the Lakers waving the white flag on the playoff chase and dialing back LeBron James‘ playing time. However, Kuzma might be the only one of the three who is actually able to get back on the court before season’s end.

While it may be tempting to say that the Lakers are being overly cautious with minor injuries to help improve their draft position down the stretch, Ingram’s new diagnosis is more serious than just a “sore shoulder.” The Mayo Clinic describes DVT as occurring “when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body.”

Recurring issues with blood clots have forced NBA players like Chris Bosh and Mirza Teletovic into early retirement in recent years, so the hope is that this is just a one-time problem for Ingram.

Lakers Notes: Ball, Ingram, LeBron, Trade Talks

Lonzo Ball was hoping it wouldn’t be necessary, but he understands the Lakers‘ decision to shut him down for the rest of the season, writes Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.

Ball hasn’t played since January 19 when he injured his ankle driving to the basket. He feared it was broken at first, but it turned out to be a Grade 3 sprain, which involves a torn ligament. He was given a four- to six-week prognosis to return, but a bone bruise in the ankle is keeping him out longer.

“It’s just the situation I’m in right now,” Ball said of the Lakers’ decision to end his season early. “So I have no problem with it.”

Ball, who saw his rookie season cut short because of a knee injury, is still traveling with the team and is looking forward to an opportunity to train this summer, which he couldn’t do last offseason. He said he had finally started playing the way he hopes to about five games before hurting his ankle.

There’s more news from Los Angeles:

  • The blood clot issue that forced the Lakers to shut down Brandon Ingram is affecting his trade value, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. L.A. offered Ingram to the Pelicans last month as the centerpiece of an Anthony Davis deal, but Windhorst doubts that New Orleans would be as interested in Ingram now, even if doctors were to find that he has a low chance for the blood clots to recur. Ingram’s status is also complicated because he’s eligible for a contract extension this summer, and Windhorst doesn’t believe any team could get insurance to cover future blood clot issues.
  • LeBron James is still “fully committed” to the Lakers despite a rocky first season in L.A. and the uncertainty of whether the team can land another star or two, Windhorst adds in the same story. James told Michael Lee of the Athletic that he believes the Lakers will return to the playoffs during his time there and he has given no thought to shutting down this season. “I live being a professional,” James said. “I live playing every game like it’s my last, no matter what’s going on. You finish up strong. That’s just who I am.”
  • Sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe that the Davis trade talks “sapped morale” for some players. He adds that team president Magic Johnson’s lecture after the deadline about treating players “like babies” had the same effect.

Lakers Notes: Rondo, LeBron, Ingram, Tanking

Celtics fans who watched Rajon Rondo battle the Lakers in the 2008 Finals could have never imagined he would wind up in purple and gold someday, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Before taking the court against his original team one more time tonight, Rondo explained some of the turns his career has taken since Boston traded him in 2014.

“Not many players have ever been with one franchise their whole entire career,” he said. “I’ve had a great journey. I don’t know where I’ll be next year, but, like I say, Boston hasn’t called since I got traded away. It’s a business. Things happen. Paul [Pierce] didn’t finish as a Celtic. If it was anybody, you’d think Paul Pierce would finish as a Celtic. I mean, he obviously did go back at the end, but even he got traded. Things happen. The ACL [injury] happened, and then they broke up the Big Three the following year. It was just time to go a different way. It’s just how the chips unfolded.”

Rondo hasn’t stayed in one place long since leaving the Celtics. He spent half a season with the Mavericks, then signed one-year deals with the Kings, Bulls, Pelicans and Lakers. Heading into free agency again this summer, Rondo claims, “I feel like I’ve still got four or five more years, but I don’t know where I’ll be.”

There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

  • As his first season in L.A. winds down to a disappointing conclusion, LeBron James is more of an outsider than a hero or villain, Bulpett notes in a separate story. James is taking a lot of heat from media for the Lakers’ losses, while hearing occasional boos from fans who were thrilled when the team signed him. Bulpett adds that many are wondering whether James really wanted to be part of the Lakers’ legacy or just help out his career in the entertainment industry.
  • In a session with reporters before tonight’s game, coach Luke Walton refused to expound on Brandon Ingram‘s condition, other than saying he’s out for the season, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. Among the questions that Walton declined to answer were whether the injury could affect him long term and how Ingram was dealing with the news.
  • With the playoffs seemingly out of reach, the Lakers should spend the rest of the season improving their draft pick, evaluating their young talent and trying to repair their relationship with the Pelicans in hopes of acquiring Anthony Davis, suggests Kevin Pelton of ESPN.

Lakers Notes: A. Davis, Deadline Deals, LeBron

Despite Jeanie Bussinsistence that the Lakers‘ reported offers for Anthony Davis last month were “fake news,” Shams Charania of The Athletic reiterates that L.A. made “several aggressive offers” for the Pelicans’ star, with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart all included in at least one proposal. However, sources told Charania that the Pelicans had no intent of moving Davis before the offseason, and especially not to the Lakers.

As we previously relayed this week, Buss and the Lakers reportedly believe that rival teams were leaking stories in order to hurt L.A.’s chemistry. However, Charania suggests that Buss may not have been aware of “every aspect of the play-by-play” of those trade discussions, and writes that the Pelicans were also frustrated by the public nature of the talks.

“We get off the phone with (the Lakers), and a minute later, offers are out there,” a Pelicans source said to Charania.

The idea that the Pelicans were leaking the trade offers to hurt the Lakers has become a popular – and somewhat logical – theory, but it hasn’t been confirmed, so the comments by Charania’s source shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. It’s worth noting that most of the reports on those specific offers came from a Los Angeles-based source, the L.A. Times.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Sources tell Charania that the Lakers’ coaching staff and front office both wanted to add more shooting to the roster at the trade deadline, which was what led to the deals for Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala. Bullock has been solid, but the trade for Muscala, which cost the team Ivica Zubac, hasn’t been a success so far.
  • Speaking to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), LeBron James expanded on what he means when he says that “inexperience” has been a problem for the Lakers this season: “You have four guys in our top-eight rotation that you have to really rely on and it’s unfair to them to ask for so much when they’re in their second or third year.”
  • In a discussion on the Lakers’ season and future, a panel of ESPN.com writers primarily assigned the blame for a disappointing 2018/19 showing to the front office.

Lakers Notes: Walton, Ingram, Hawes, Playoffs

Firing coach Luke Walton at this stage of the season would be unnecessary and cruel, Marc Stein of The New York Times opines. A coaching change now wouldn’t improve the Lakers‘ short-team prospects beyond appeasing frustrated fans, Stein continues. It’s generally assumed around league coaching circles that Walton will likely lose his job after the season, followed by the Lakers resuming their trade quest for the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, Stein adds.

We have more on the struggling Lakers:

  • Forward Brandon Ingram has been putting up big numbers over the last six games, averaging 27.8 points and 7.5 rebounds, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register notes. “He’s at the point where he kind of took his destiny in his hands, being more aggressive and being himself,” Suns coach Igor Koskoskov said. “We know he’s a talented player, versatile player.” The club has until opening night next season to reach a contract extension with Ingram, who is still on his rookie deal.
  • The G League’s South Bay Lakers claimed big man Spencer Hawes off waivers, according to a press release. Hawes last played in the NBA during the 2016/17 season, when he saw action in a combined 54 games for the Hornets and Bucks.
  • Missing the playoffs would be a complete organizational failure, ESPN’s Zach Lowe argues. Despite the team’s injury issues and the uneasiness in the locker room over the Davis trade talk, there’s no other way to look at LeBron James‘ first season with the Lakers should they fail to make the postseason, Lowe adds.
  • The Lakers have to keep their minds off the Davis situation to finish the season on a positive note, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes.

Jeanie Buss: Lakers’ Anthony Davis Offer Was “Fake News”

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss says reports of what her team offered to the Pelicans in an attempt to land Anthony Davis were exaggerated, tweets Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Buss addressed the rumors in a speech today at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. She couldn’t mention Davis by name because of tampering rules, but said leaks that the Lakers were willing to trade “our entire roster” for “a certain player” were “fake news.”

A report just before last month’s trade deadline said L.A. was prepared to give up all its young talent, offering Brandon IngramLonzo BallKyle KuzmaIvica Zubac and Josh Hart to New Orleans, along with a pair of first-round draft picks.

The denial from Buss meshes with a report yesterday by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, notes Christian Rivas of Silver Screen and Roll.

“My sources have told me within the last 48 hours that what we’ve heard the Lakers offered may not be true,” MacMullen said in an appearance on “The Jump.” “… I think there’s some question about just how much did they offer. Did they even get a chance to offer anything?”

There were rumors in the week before the deadline that former Pelicans GM Dell Demps was refusing to take calls from the Lakers to give them a chance to talk about Davis, so MacMullan may be right when she speculates that a formal offer was never made.

No one has confirmed which players L.A. would have been willing to part with to acquire Davis, but there have been reports that the trade talk had a negative effect on many of those whose names were mentioned. The Lakers haven’t played well since the deadline, falling into 10th place in the West with a 30-32 record.

L.A.’s trade plans involving Davis should become clearer once the season is over and negotiations can resume. However, the Lakers will find a more competitive playing field, with the Celtics and Knicks expected to become actively involved, along with other teams.

Lakers Reportedly Pull Out Of Anthony Davis Trade Talks

The Lakers have pulled out of negotiations with the Pelicans about a trade for Anthony Davis, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. According to the source, the Lakers balked at New Orleans’ “outrageous” requests for Davis.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski follows up on Turner’s report, tweeting that the Lakers would be willing to re-engage with the Pelicans before Thursday’s trade deadline, but no longer want to bid against themselves. They’ll wait for New Orleans to make a counter-offer, per Wojnarowski, who calls the Lakers’ approach a negotiating tactic pushing the Pelicans to be more active in the process (Twitter link).

According to Turner, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson informed Pelicans GM Dell Demps on Tuesday that the team had made its best offer for Davis and would be moving on rather than continuing to add to that package.

Late on Monday night, the Lakers increased their offer for Davis once more, according to Turner, who says that the Lakers were willing to send their entire young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac to New Orleans. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first-round picks would also have been included in the swap, and the Lakers were willing to take on Solomon Hill‘s pricey multiyear contract, per the Times’ report.

While it’s hard to see how the Lakers could add much more to that offer, the Pelicans have reportedly sought four first-round picks and multiple second-round picks from L.A. as part of the package. The Lakers don’t intend to send six (or more) draft picks to the Pelicans, per Turner’s source.

“(The Pelicans) wanted more and more and more,” one source told Turner. “There was no more to give. They had cap relief with Hill being in the deal. But the more they wanted, the more it because outrageous and unrealistic.”

Reports we relayed earlier today suggested that the Pelicans felt they needed to be “overcompensated” to seriously consider sending Davis to the Lakers this week, since they think there will be more options available to them in the summer — particularly since the Celtics can enter the mix at that point.

The Pelicans also reportedly believe that the current Lakers offer will still be available in the offseason, though Turner notes that L.A. has indicated that won’t be the case. The Lakers don’t want to get into a bidding war with Boston in the offseason, according to Turner, who has previously suggested that the club may shift its focus to star free agents if it doesn’t acquire AD this week.

Turner adds that one person told him that New Orleans is hopeful that Davis will reverse course and recommit to the Pelicans if he remains on the roster through the deadline, though that seems pretty unlikely. According to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link), multiple sources “strongly deny” that the Pelicans are still holding out hope for a long-term union with Davis.

In related news, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported this morning that Davis feels “healthy” following his finger injury and had hoped to return to action for the Pels on Monday night against Indiana, but the organization elected to keep him inactive. The All-Star big man almost certainly won’t suit up for New Orleans again until after the deadline, assuming he returns to the club at all.

Pelicans Leaning Toward Keeping Davis Past Deadline

The Lakers are fighting an uphill battle to finalize a deal for Anthony Davis before the trade deadline, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. There’s significant support within the Pelicans organization to retain Davis for the remainder of the season and revisit trade talks during the offseason, when several new and different scenarios would be available to them, Wojnarowski adds.

The Lakers are growing increasingly pessimistic the Pelicans will make a deal with them, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN tweets.

The Lakers upped the ante on Monday in their zeal to acquire Davis, who can become a free agent in the summer of 2020. They are presently offering the Pelicans a package built around three young starters — Brandon IngramKyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball— and two first-round picks. They’re also willing to take on Solomon Hill‘s contract, which runs through next season.

Los Angeles president Magic Johnson had multiple phone conversations with New Orleans GM Dell Demps on Monday. Davis expanded his list of teams that he’d consider signing with in the long term besides the Lakers, including the Bucks, Clippers and Knicks.  But the Clippers and Bucks have yet to make offers for Davis and the Knicks haven’t contacted Demps since trading Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, league sources told Wojnarowski.

The Celtics remain anxious to trade for Davis during the offseason and pair him with Kyrie Irving, though their plan to pursue Davis remains unaffected by whatever Irving might do in free agency. The Celtics remain confident they’ll re-sign Irving, Wojnarowski adds.

New Orleans is hopeful the Celtics might include their top young player, Jayson Tatum, along with a package of first-round picks. By waiting past the deadline, the Pelicans would also have a better idea what type of first-round picks the Celtics could convey to them.

Trade Rumors: Davis, Hill, Ball, Mavs, Favors

One key to an Anthony Davis trade is whether the Pelicans can acquire a player with All-NBA potential as part of the package. That’s among the priorities for New Orleans’ front office, which is also seeking young talent, draft picks and salary-cap relief for Davis, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. If the Pelicans view Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma or Lonzo Ball as that type of player — all of whom are rumored to be in the latest offer from the Lakers — that would increase the possibility of Davis going to Los Angeles. If New Orleans sees that potential in the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, the team may wait until the offseason, when Boston has the freedom to trade for Davis.

We have more trade buzz from around the league:

  • The Pelicans are hoping to dump Solomon Hill‘s contract in any trade involving Davis and if the Lakers were to acquire him, they would use the stretch provision on his contract, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Hill is making $12.52MM this season with another guaranteed $12.76MM next season. That three-year stretch would count as $4,257,927 annually and the Lakers would also have an empty roster charge of $897,158 added during the offseason if they waived him, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Lonzo Ball‘s outspoken father is at it again, telling ESPN that if his son gets traded, he wants him to land with the Suns, Ohm Youngmisuk tweets. “We want to be in LA. But if he’s traded, I don’t want Lonzo in New Orleans,” LaVar Ball said. “Phoenix is the best fit for him. And I am going to speak it into existence.”
  • In the aftermath of the blockbuster deal with the Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says the team is laying low prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. “We’re not actively pursuing anything,” Cuban said.
  • The Wizards have significant interest in Jazz forward Derrick Favors, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic. Favors has been rumored to be part of the package Utah would send to the Grizzlies for Mike Conley. The Jazz are also interested in Otto Porter Jr. and Washington would want Favors in any deal involving its small forward, Jones adds. However, the Wizards are considered unlikely to move Porter this week.