Heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, Brandon Ingram’s third with the Los Angeles Lakers marks an important stage in his development.
As most lottery picks enter the NBA Draft after one season of college, their third or fourth seasons in the league usually determine if they can truly meet their All-Star potential.
For Ingram, who recently turned 21 years old, he has shown what he can become as his skills and body continue to develop. After an up-and-down rookie season, he averaged 16.1 points (47.0 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from the three-point line), 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists.
As the longest-tenured Laker, Ingram is now a member of a team that will be heavily scrutinized. “I don’t think we’ve talked about it like that,” Ingram recently said when asked if it’s been a topic of discussion amongst the young core.
“Me and Kuz have talked about how we can play off each other, what things we can do well on a basketball floor. I don’t think we’ve talked about it from that standpoint. I think that’s something that we do need to talk about.”
With LeBron James signing a four-year, $154 million contract in free agency, Ingram and the young core will face pressure they have never experienced in their careers.
Since the goal has dramatically changed to competing for championships, they will have to learn on the fly to be successful.
As for Ingram, he is widely viewed as the team’s second option. While Ingram has not thought about his role alongside James, he’s quickly earned the respect of the three-time champion.