For the past few weeks, many fans have been calling for the Los Angeles Lakers to turn their eye towards the future and truly embrace the youth movement. Head coach Luke Walton recently hinted towards that as well if the Lakers continue their fall.
Now it looks as if that is beginning to take place, and rookie Brandon Ingram is the first to benefit from it.
According to Bill Oram of the OC Register, Ingram is expected to start in Monday’s game against the New York Knicks:
Hearing that Brandon Ingram will slide into starting 5 tonight. Unclear in whose spot, but logical conclusion would be struggling Luol Deng.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) February 6, 2017
As Oram pointed out, Ingram replacing Deng would be the logical conclusion. Despite signing a big $72 million contract this summer, Deng has struggled mightily for the most part this season. Though he has a couple of stretches of good play, he has been a disappointment.
In fact, Deng and Ingram’s numbers are relatively similar so far this season. Deng averages 8.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while Ingram is putting up 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Deng’s shooting percentages are better as Ingram has noticeably struggled to shoot the ball, but that is beside the point.
Ingram has shown the ability to make an impact on the game even when his shot isn’t falling. He also provides the starting lineup with a much-needed playmaker as everything usually falls on the shoulders of D’Angelo Russell. Nonetheless, the youth movement looks to be officially underway, and the first stage is the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden.