The Los Angeles Lakers hoped they were getting something special when they selected Brandon Ingram with the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The lanky forward out of Duke had a versatile skill set and a ridiculous wingspan that made him the kind of prospect that simply couldn’t be passed up.
If there was one knock on Ingram it was his weight. He was jarringly thin, creating concerns that he may not hold up to the physical play of the NBA. After all, Ingram was one of the youngest players of his draft class.
And given his lack of strength, it didn’t seem likely that he would be able to hold his own against grown men. However, Ingram has steadily worked on his body since he was drafted almost two years ago.
He has been careful to put on weight the right way, and former Duke teammate Grayson Allen, who visited the Lakers for a pre-draft workout, noticed the change. “I saw him back at Duke, working out at the gym, so I caught up with him a little bit,” Allen said.
“I told him he looks bigger, put some weight on, his shoulders are broader. He looks like he’s not getting pushed around anymore. Obviously, he’s come a long way. When he came into Duke he was super skinny. He looks like he’s put some good weight on. He looks pretty big.”
Of course, it’s going to take more than just muscle for Ingram to catapult to NBA stardom, but as of now all reports have indicated that he is a gym rat who doesn’t shy away from hard work.
And this is the time to do it. While some may see the summer as a time for rest and relaxation, the best NBA players use it to hone and improve their games. If Ingram’s physical growth is matched by a similar improvement in his skills then the Lakers could be well on their way to finding their next star.
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