Free agency is in full swing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and it has been highlighted by the acquisition of Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng. The Lakers agreed to deals with the two veterans to provide the young Lakers locker room with maturity and experience.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Brandon Ingram, was officially introduced to the Lakers organization on Tuesday at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo. Ingram is the youngest player on the Lakers roster as it stands today, so he intends on picking the brain of the veterans on the squad, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Brandon Ingram says he plans to pick Luol Deng’s brain on different things. Hasn’t talked to him yet though.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 5, 2016
The Lakers organization faced plenty of criticism when they targeted Mozgov and Deng as their primary free agent options, but their veteran presence in the locker room could prove to have value. Brandon Ingram has the potential to become a superstar in the league someday, but that will not come without some guidance of a veteran who has been there before.
Luol Deng spent most of his career with the Chicago Bulls, and he was once almost traded to the Los Angeles for Kobe Bryant in 2007. The Lakers backed out of the trade and convinced Kobe to trust the process, and the rest is history.
Nine years later, the franchise has finally acquired Deng as a free agent, and although he may be at the end of his prime, he will serve as an excellent mentor to Ingram.
The future is bright for Los Angeles with their young, talented core, and the level of maturity that Ingram displayed in his introductory press conference makes the future look even more encouraging.