Brandon Ingram had somewhat of a breakthrough season for the Los Angeles Lakers in his sophomore campaign. Ingram improved upon his rookie year numbers across the board and has, time and time again, appeared to be a cornerstone for the franchise.
Through a flurry of trade rumors involving players like Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson never wavered from his stance on Ingram, saying that he was an untouchable player.
ESPN is also high on Ingram, as he was ranked No. 54 on this year’s ESPN NBArank. Ingram was ranked eight spots ahead of Lonzo Ball, 17 spots ahead of Kyle Kuzma, and 38 spots ahead of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Now, although not necessarily guaranteed, it’s assumed that Ingram will take the starting small forward spot as the team starts James at power forward.
Ingram’s game is sure to be enhanced with the addition of James. Last year, while Ingram improved on his shot, it was clear that slashing became his emphasis. Ingram’s 16.1 points per game average isn’t superstar level, but he showed flashes of absolute brilliance that should excite any Lakers fans as James joins the squad.
In addition to slashing, Ingram showed his surprising ability to handle the ball. When Ball was sidelined with injury, Ingram took over at the point guard and led the Lakers to a few multi-game winning streaks.
While Ingram will rarely have to be the primary ball handler with Ball, James, and Rajon Rondo in the fold, Ingram’s ability to be the leader when called upon shows just how special he could become.