After trades and free agency over the past two years, Brandon Ingram resides as the oldest member of the much ballyhooed Los Angeles Lakers young core. Ingram is entering his third season, and one in which many expect him to take another leap in development.
To do so, Ingram will need to carve out a new standing on a Lakers roster that’s now led by LeBron James and includes veterans who are in place to mentor but also play a role in the team getting back to the playoffs.
How the pieces will ultimately fit together is not something Ingram is overly concerned with, however. “I don’t think I’ve thought about that once,” he said at Lakers Media Day. “For my role, I think I have to continue to be the same person every single day.”
Ingram averaged 16.1 points per game last season, which was tied with Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle for the team lead. Removing Isaiah Thomas who appeared in 17 games, from the equation, and Ingram was second on team with 3.9 assists.
Whether he’ll be asked to score or facilitate, the 21-year-old emphasized consistency will serve as his foundation and key to success. “My role is to be consistent in what I do,” Ingram said.
“Whether it’s scoring the basketball or passing the basketball, I think I can do everything on the basketball floor; from scoring to passing and defending. I’ve just got to be consistent in what I do every single day.”
Ingram spent the offseason with an approach of improving with each day’s workout. He deemed the process a “steady progress” and one in which “everything was a focus.”
“I knew I was going to have the basketball in my hands, I knew I was going to be off the ball. So it was important for me to work on different things. Whether it was being ready to cut to the basket, catch and shoot, anything,” he added.
While he honed a variety of skills on the court, Ingram’s focus and interests off it during the summer remained limited. “Every time you ask me, I say the same thing. I really don’t do much,” he said with a laugh. “I play basketball.”
Playing basketball is exactly what the Lakers will need from Ingram as they shift even further to a positionless approach that’s predicated on the type of versatility he incorporated into his offseason workouts.