The Los Angeles Lakers had high expectations for rookie Brandon Ingram last season as they drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick out of Duke. Ingram failed to meet those expectations though as he struggled mainly with his shooting in the first half of the season
He shot just 36.3 percent from the field, averaging 8.0 points and 1.9 assists before the All-Star break. After the break however, he averaged 13.2 points and 2.5 assists, shooting 47.5 percent so he already began to show improvement.
Ingram should make big strides in his second season as he will look to continue building on his second half from last year. Adam Fromal of Bleacher report recently listed his top NBA sophomores that are ready to break out this coming season, and he listed Ingram mainly in part to some of his new teammates taking pressure off of him:
Of course this small forward was going to struggle as a teenager when surrounded by a complete dearth of established offensive talent. Defenses could already key in against him because they didn’t have to pay much attention to Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov, Nick Young or D’Angelo Russell, with whom he shared the court most frequently. Sure, they had to worry about spot-up jumpers from the notorious Swaggy P, but they still weren’t dragged away from sending help defense in Ingram’s direction.
That changes now that Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez are playing in Tinseltown. Further growth from Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. will assist the former Duke Blue Devil’s development as well.
Ingram looked to be a completely different player in the Las Vegas Summer League, as he was in attack mode every time he touched the ball, scoring 26 points in his lone game. If he continues to be that aggressive then he surely will be on his way to a break out season as not many players possess his length and skillset.
The 20-year-old is also developing into a leader of this young Lakers team as many people within the organization have said that he has become a lot more vocal since when he came in as a rookie. The Lakers could have the complete package and a future NBA star on their hands.