When the Los Angeles Lakers selected Brandon Ingram with the second overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft they hoped that his physical profile would allow him to be the kind of versatile forward that is needed in the modern NBA.
At 6’9″ with a 7’3″ wingspan, Ingram has the potential to be a force on both ends of the floor.
While he struggled somewhat during his rookie season, Ingram bounced back in a big way during his sophomore campaign, showcasing his well-rounded skill set and ability to take on a variety of roles.
Particularly exciting was Ingram’s stint as the Lakers’ starting point guard when rookie floor general Lonzo Ball was out of action due to injury. Ingram not only initiated the offense but also posted some of the most efficient scoring numbers of his career.
This season, Ingram should have an even easier time wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. With LeBron James drawing opponent’s attention, Ingram will be able to find more uncontested looks at the basket and also attack closeouts, something he did successfully last season.
He’s a good decision-maker off the bounce, and with James allowing him to play off the ball more, Ingram could be in line for a breakout season.
The Lakers will have the salary cap space next summer to pursue a second star to put alongside James, and that sales pitch gets easier if some of their young players really click and hit their stride this season.
Out of Ball, Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, most believe it’s Ingram who has the highest ceiling. If he can thrive next to James it will put the Lakers in an excellent position to get back to contender status.
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