The Los Angeles Lakers made forward Brandon Ingram the second pick of the 2016 NBA Draft this summer. Despite his frail frame, the Lakers believe Ingram’s overall skill set, combined with his outstanding length and defensive potential will ultimately make him a star.
Of course, as a rookie, Ingram still has a long way to go. He has shown some signs so far in the preseason of what he is capable of, but it’s obvious he is a work in progress. Even still, the Lakers have to like the progression they are seeing.
The race for NBA Rookie of the Year figures to be an interesting one, especially with the injury to top overall pick Ben Simmons knocking him out for some time. The annual NBA General Manager survey was recently released, and GMs voted Ingram as the fourth most likely player to win the award:
Ingram fared slightly better when GMs looked ahead to the future as he ranked third in voting for which rookie will be the best player in five years:
Many have written off Ingram’s chances to win Rookie of the Year because he will be coming off the Lakers bench. Head coach Luke Walton has continually claimed that Ingram will play a lot of minutes, however, so he should have opportunities to put up stats. He will have some tough competition as Kris Dunn should also get plenty of time, and Joel Embiid has looked great in the preseason.
More important for both Ingram and the Lakers is his progress and how he looks five years from now. For as skilled as Ingram is, his body still needs to develop, and he needs to add strength. His ability to do that without sacrificing what he already brings to the table will determine how good he can be. If Ingram can reach his potential, along with D’Angelo Russell continuing to develop, the Lakers will be in good hands for the future.