On the most recent episode of The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN's Tim MacMahon stated that the Los Angeles Lakers “floated” Brandon Ingram in Jimmy Butler trade discussions. Brian Windhorst quickly jumped on MacMahon to throw cold water after MacMahon brought this up.
That leads us to believe Ingram's involvement in a potential trade never became that serious. It's vital to listen to the clip for context and tone. The term “floating” is used to illustrate how this was never anything concrete.
McMahon: “The question is this, is Brandon Ingram more valuable for the Lakers as LeBron's teammate or as a trade chip?”
Windhorst: “It's gotta be both. I mean, right now it's neither.”
McMahon: “Well I know that they were floating him in at least one trade for, well, you know, I'll just go ahead and say it, I heard that he was brought up in the Jimmy Butler stuff, but uh-“
Windhorst: “You think they…? I don't know if they actually offered that. I don't know.”
McMahon: “Yeah, that's why I said ‘brought up.'”
Windhorst: “Don't get aggregated. Don't get aggregated.”
McMahon: “Well, alright fine, no aggregation, although it kinda would make me feel important and then I could go complain to The NY Times about it while I'm putting on my makeup.”
Windhorst: “Yeah yeah, right.”
A potential deal involving Butler and Ingram sounds like a juicy rumor and looks like one in writing. But it's important to understand the context of the statement. “Floated” doesn't mean any serious talks were made.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this nugget of information is that teams will always look for ways to improve. There are only a handful of players in the league who are truly untouchable. Brandon Ingram is not one of those players, and no one really believed he was.