The Los Angeles Lakers privately worked out Duke forward Brandon Ingram on Thursday afternoon, after taking him out to dinner on Wednesday evening. It’s widely believed that the Philadelphia 76ers will select LSU’s Ben Simmons with their No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, leaving Ingram for the Lakers with the second pick.
Despite a bit of a slow start to his freshman season, Ingram’s draft stock quickly rose under Coach K at Duke University, averaging 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 blocked shots, 1.1 steals and 34.6 minutes per game in his lone season playing for the Blue Devils. He was the consensus ACC Freshman of the Year as well as AP All-American Honorable Mention.
The Lakers did open up Ingram’s private workout to the media for interviews in the afternoon. Watch Ingram’s media session above or read the transcription below.
Q: Most of the draft boards have you going to the Lakers at No. 2, did you have extra excitement coming into this workout?
Brandon Ingram: I think it’s extra excitement anywhere. I’m just happy for this process. Enjoying the process right now, just working out and getting ready for the summer league.
Q: On a personal assessment, how did the workout go for you?
Ingram: Went great. Something I’ve been working towards for a long time now, so just working out and trying to do the things that I’ve been doing in my regular workouts here.
Q: What are some of the things you’ve been working on that you wanted to show today?
Ingram: Myself being physical, being able to be physical and finish through plays and of course show a little bit of my mid-range game, just knowing that in college, it’s a different world than the NBA. Just trying to by physical and mentally tough out here.
Q: Even though it was an individual workout, were there some competitive parts to it?
Ingram: Most definitely. Of course, in the one-on ones and the two on twos there’s always competitive parts of course in the shooting drills you want to make the best shot possible and I think I got through that.
Q: How did dinner go last night (with Lakers personnel)?
Ingram: Went great – all the coaches made me feel comfortable around there, and we had a good time watching the game and having dinner.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges that you face through this process?
Ingram: Umm…just being physical I guess, developing weight and getting stronger. With my build right now trying to get stronger, knowing that it’s coming naturally but, just trying to build everything I can before I get to the next level.
Q: What are you trying to show the Lakers, whether it’s on the court or off the court that they don’t know about you?
Ingram: About myself mentally. About my determination and how I’m self-driven. Just trying to work as hard as possible on this court. Try to show a little character outside of the court, show exactly who I am and try to get a great feel for that.
Q: This is one of the best franchises in the history of sports, do you let your mind go there, about that potential?
Ingram: Of course, Duke University was very hard to leave, with the class coming in and with the great coaches around me and great teammates, but like you said, it’s a great opportunity for myself and for my family. Just coming in, I knew I would have another great opportunity to get better and play with these professional guys and try to reach my potential.
Q: What’s the work you’ve done the past year to get bigger and stronger?
Ingram: Eat everything I can. Of course, I think at my weight, I can eat anything. I don’t have a certain diet for myself. Just eat everything I can and stay in the weight room as much as possible.
Q: How much did you come into Duke weighing and how much do you weigh now?
Ingram: I think I came into duke about 169 and left about 195.
Q: How do you see yourself adapting to the physical rigors of the NBA?
Ingram: I know it’s going to be a long process of course, but at the end of the day it’s basketball, and that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life is trying to score the ball and trying to defend. I know everybody in the NBA developed their body in the summer, so I’ll try to do the same thing.
Q: What type of advice has Coach Krzyzewski given you throughout this process?
Ingram: Just being myself. Coach K has always been an advisor for me. Always there, talking to me every week about things I’m doing Just telling me to be myself. Always told me to be that hungry kid from my hometown and that’s what I’m trying to be.
Q: What have you learned from Coach Krzyzewski that you can bring in the draft process?
Ingram: Just having accountability, being responsible and whatever you do, just work hard. Whatever you do, just knowing that someone is always watching and doing the right things.
Q: What’s your optimum physical size and weight?
Ingram: Whatever I can get to. I know my body is naturally going to get there. But Just setting a goal each summer, about 10-15 pounds each summer and try to work towards that goal
Q: Next steps before the draft?
Ingram: Just working out for another team, working out by myself and after this draft process working out to do great in summer league so just get with the next organization that wants me and try to work towards my goal.
Q: Have you been keeping an eye on Luke Walton during the finals?
Ingram: I keep an eye on everyone. I’m just excited to be in this process right now. Excited to live this dream right now.
Q: Does it matter to you at all if you go first or second in the 2016 NBA draft?
Ingram: It doesn’t matter at all. Of course, I want to go to the organization that wants me, and I want to develop in this league the best way that I can.
Q: Have you or do you have plans to work out for the Philadelphia 76ers?
Ingram: I have a plan to, soon. I don’t think I have a day set in stone or my agent has a day set in stone. But I’ll definitely work out for Philadelphia also.
Q: Do you see yourself playing a particular position or with how the NBA has gone with multiple positions, how do you think your game fits in?
Ingram: I think with these top organizations, even when I got recruited for Coach K, he always told me I was position-less. So just going into whatever organization I land, I know they’ll have a great coach that will see wherever I fit in, and wherever they fit me in is where I’ll play.
Q: Do you pride yourself though on having that versatility to be able to guard a wing point guard, play the stretch 4, etc…
Ingram: Most definitely. I think being versatile is a part of this game nowadays. I think, with my body type, and how tall I am and with the size I’m developing, I think it’s gonna be important for me to play different positions on the floor.
Q: How much have you heard people comparing you to Kevin Durant and is it a fair assessment?
Ingram: Of course I’ve heard that a lot. Of course, he’s way ahead of me right now. But of course, that’s where I want to be. I want to be somewhere I can make my own name.
Q: What other players have you tried to take stuff from?
Ingram: Even an older player, George Gervin. I watch him a lot. I try to develop his finger roll or his hook shots and just take different things from each player and try to develop it into my game.
Q: How’s the adjustment been from the college 3-point line to the NBA?
Ingram: It’s very different, but I think just shooting it in college and shooting the three-ball has been a good adjustment for me.
Q: Coming into this facility and Los Angeles, does it compare at all to when Coach K brought you into Duke and recruited you there?
Ingram: They are all rich organizations. We’re both playing under great coaches. I think coming in here, you see a lot of championships a lot of great players coming through here. Of course as a kid you dream of just being in a great organization and making your own brand, so of course coming into Duke I had a goal of a National Championship and that didn’t happen, but I wanted to be a great player there, and of course whatever organization is my next step I want to be a great player there.
Q: What will you tell people about this trip – the one thing that stands out?
Ingram: Comfortability – everyone around here is great people and they make you feel comfortable and I can say it’s a family around the Laker organization.
Q: How much does it impact this process that you kind of have a basic idea that barring something strange you’re going to one of two places (No. 1 to Philly or No. 2 to Los Angeles?
Ingram: It’s kind of wait and see of course, you want to see No. 1 or No. 2 or even fall to No. 3. You never know where you’re going to go, you always keep your eyes open and whatever organization that I land in, I’ll be happy in and work towards my goals.
Q: How was your mentorship with Jerry Stackhouse?
Ingram: Great one – just teaching me some of the things he’s learned thru his 18 year of his career and of course he’s on Toronto’s bench right now, so just learning from him each year. And playing under his (AAU) team, he’s developed a lot of toughness in me and a lot of words and wiseness in me.