Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson made it known to the other 29 NBA teams that he’s willing to move all his high-profile lottery picks from the last three drafts except Brandon Ingram. In a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles, Johnson didn’t rule out the possibility of major trades between now and the start of the 2017/18 NBA season.

Ingram – the centerpiece of Lakers future

By the sound of it, Johnson is very high on Ingram’s potential. The Duke Blue Devils product didn’t have a standout rookie season, but he had shown flashes of his potential. He averaged 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 28.8 minutes over 79 games.

He also exhibited a knack in defending perimeter players, as he effectively used his incredible wingspan to alter shots or disrupt pick-and-roll plays.

Magic understands it will take some time before Ingram matures into an elite player. Still, the Lakers president has no doubt his pet project is destined to be a superstar in the league in due time. "I think that we're excited about Brandon, his length, his size, his agility, his athleticism,” Johnson told ESPN Los Angeles.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles also agreed that Ingram is the best starting piece for the Lakers’ franchise because of his upside and he plays the style the Lakers want to play. However, she also warned that Magic’s comments could have an effect on the psyche of two other lottery picks from the previous years: D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.

What’s the future for D-Russell, Randle and Clarkson?

Paul Pierce, who is now serving as an analyst for ESPN, thinks Russell is a good player but doesn’t have the upside as high as Ingram.

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The former second pick averaged 15.6 points on 40 percent shooting along with 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 28 minutes per game last season. His on-ball defense is still the weakest part of his game, as he often struggled against more physical guards in the league.

Randle has developed a niche as a double-double guy the past two seasons. He averaged a solid 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last season, although he still couldn’t play the role of a stretch four for the Lakers with his dismal 26 percent three-point clip. As for Clarkson, he put up almost the same output as he had the previous seasons with 14.7 ppoints per game on 44.5 percent shooting. However, he's still a liability on the defensive end.

Russell, Randle and Clarkson could all be used as potential bargaining chips if the Lakers engage in a bidding war with the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers for Paul George. However, with the Lakers all set to use their latest second overall pick for UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, it's safe to assume that Russell is probably the most likely trade candidate of the three youngsters.