Second overall pick Brandon Ingram ended his first Summer League experience on a high note as he totaled 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists in the Lakers’ Summer League finale against the Utah Jazz.
Ingram had struggled somewhat during the Lakers’ first four games, but Friday night’s performance was the type of thing to get Lakers fans excited about what Ingram can ultimately become. Now Ingram is set to build on that performance as he is part of the USA Select Team (along with teammates D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle) that will practice with the USA Men’s Basketball Team headed to Rio for the 2016 Olympics.
One player who is headed to Rio is Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, whom Ingram has often drawn comparisons to. According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters (via TWC SportsNet), Ingram hopes to learn from Durant during his time with the Select Team:
Brandon Ingram (on TWCSN) said he “absolutely” hopes to learn from Kevin Durant when he starts training camp Monday (on USA Select Team)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 16, 2016
Ingram would certainly be wise to pick the brains of all of the NBA stars who will be in attendance. Learning from Durant, someone who was also extremely thin coming into the league, about how to deal with the physicality of the NBA would help Ingram adjust quicker to the rigors of this league.
Being a part of this Select Team gives Ingram an excellent chance to measure himself against some of the NBA’s best young players. In addition to his Lakers teammates, players like Devin Booker, CJ McCollum, Justise Winslow, and Rodney Hood will be there as well. Ingram will learn quickly where he stands amongst some top young NBA stars and where he needs to improve most.
Ingram is definitely a project who will need some time to develop into what he can ultimately become, but taking some things from Durant during those practices could help speed up the process.