When the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Brandon Ingram with the second overall pick in 2016, it was believed that he was a project that would take time to grow into the player he could become. His rookie season was proof of that.
Ingram struggled mightily throughout the season, particularly with his jump shot, and Luke Walton had him play multiple positions, including point guard. As the season went on however, Ingram began to show improvement and flashes of his potential.
Now as he prepares to enter his second season, expectations are much higher for the Duke product, but he is prepared to take another step forward. In an interview with Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, Ingram was asked if he believed this season would be a breakout year for him, and he agreed:
“Yeah. Just with the confidence, and my motivation for this year. Just being selfish, not selfish with my teammates, but being selfish with myself and my time, and what I do on and off the basketball court. This year is definitely a big step for me and what I do and I just wanna show improvement. I wanna show myself the improvement, but I also wanna show the fans the improvement.”
Aside from himself and the fans, expectations have also been placed on Ingram by the front office. Magic Johnson expects him to lead the team in scoring while Rob Pelinka tabbed him as the team’s late-game playmaker.
One thing that has been constant for Ingram has been his work ethic. Everyone within the organization has praised him for putting in the necessary work and effort to improve his game and that should show itself on the court once the games start.
In addition to his improvement down the stretch of last season, Ingram’s lone Summer League game, in which he scored 26 points was also a sign of his growth. He has already spoken about improving his defense this year, and that will help his offense as well. If Ingram does truly breakout this season, it will be huge for the Lakers in the immediate and distant future.