Today the Lakers announced they have picked up the options on Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr. for the 2018-19 season. A perfunctory move, it would be more telling if they did not to pick up 3rd and 4th year options for the young players. At the very least, their creditors are surely cheering the news.
While the Lakers have struggled to start the season, Ingram has shown flashes of dominance scoring 24 points against the Phoenix Suns which is still technically an NBA team. With tougher nights against the Clippers and Pelicans, Brandon has struggled to grow into the 20 point a game scorer Magic believes he is employing. That all said, the year is still early and it remains to be seen what kind of player Ingram will be in entering the 2018-19 season.
If anything Nance Jr. is better understood but with a much less certain future. A walking highlight reel, Larry curiously beat out Julius Randle for the starting power forward position to start the season. With a logjam at the power forward spot and a looming cap problem in the summer, there is no guarantee Larry finishes the 2017-18 season as a Laker let alone starts the 2018-19.
The reality is the futures of these young players have much more to do with their ability to score the basketball and a lot less to do with an October option being picked up. Ingram has displayed the willingness but not the results. Nance has been on the court while people have scored but has yet to participate in the fun himself.
Regardless, the fans can feel comfortable about the front office picking up these options. While there is not a lot to be extrapolated from the move there are also no downsides. This report continues the new front offices hot streak of not signing Luol Deng to a four year $72 million dollar guaranteed contract.