The Los Angeles Lakers took a risk when they selected Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft. At just 18-years-old and with limbs that put Dhalsim to shame, Ingram appears to have just about everything the Lakers could want in their small forward of the future.
However, Ingram isn’t without his faults, and one in particular is reason for concern. He may be 6’9″, but at just 195 pounds he looks as though a strong breeze could carry him away. In the NBA, the bigger and stronger players will attempt to bully Ingram, and until he puts on some muscle they will likely be successful.
In a piece by Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times, one Western Conference coach weighed in on Ingram’s problem with pounds:
“It’s a difference between being soft and being weak. He’s just weak right now. He’s not soft, by any stretch of the imagination.”
From what we saw in the Las Vegas Summer League, the anonymous coach is correct in his assesment. Ingram is undeniably weak right now physically, but his mentality isn’t. He didn’t shy away from contact, instead hurling himself into defenders in order to get to the free throw line.
With that being the case, the mystery coach wasn’t concerned with Ingram’s long-term prospects:
“The kid is skilled. He’s got a good basketball IQ. He’s going to be more than fine. I think the Lakers got themselves a big-time player who is going to be around a long time.”
The Lakers certainly hope that Ingram eventually develops into the star-level player that they so badly need in order to right the ship. With a collection of young talent, including Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr., the team appears to be set on building for the future.