After suffering a sprained ankle against the San Antonio Spurs which forced him to miss seven games, Brandon Ingram was a full participant at Thursday’s practice.
When Ingram was re-evaluated during the team’s four-game road trip, he was considered day-to-day and head coach Luke Walton expressed optimism about the 21-year-old returning soon.
As the Lakers look to bounce back from a disappointing 1-3 road trip against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, Ingram will see how his ankle responds before determining if he will return.
“I felt really good to have a chance to be with the team again,” Ingram said. “After a long road trip, just to get in and put some work in to see how my body feels.”
While Ingram unfortunately missed two weeks, there was a positive that came from observing from the sidelines. “Any time I’m away from the team or the game, I get a chance to observe and see what I can bring.
“Just learning where I can still be efficient, where I can get my shots off and be really, really good on the offensive end.”
What was particularly evident to Ingram in watching the Lakers was their ball movement. “Most of the time we were getting the best shot for the team,” he noted.
Through Ingram’s 20 appearances in a crucial third season, he has had to adjust to playing with LeBron James. As Ingram is at his best when he has the ball in his hands and has space to operate, it has not been the greatest fit so far.
Amid all the trade rumors, an anonymous NBA executive believes the Lakers will ‘probably’ trade Ingram for an All-Star caliber player like Davis ‘at some point.’ Despite Ingram’s potential, he will need to show he can consistently be the team’s second scoring option and learning how to move without the ball is a step in the right direction.