The Los Angeles Lakers understood that the outlook of the franchise needed to change, with a few questionable contract situations that weren’t panning out. While forward Brandon Ingram took major steps in his progression during his rookie campaign, Los Angeles selected Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
With the Lakers agreeing to trade D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov, they brought in a fresh approach, with a franchise point guard to take the keys of the car. Ball is a bonafide passing savant, putting on a display during the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, even without most of his NBA teammates.
Now that the Lakers are preparing for training camp, Ball has a chance to prepare alongside Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Larry Nance Jr., and Ingram. During his appearance on the Lakers Nation Podcast, Ball stated that he had been impressed with, and wasn’t expecting, the development of Ingram’s leadership:
“Yeah, Brandon, man he’s a great player. He works extremely hard. He’s always in the gym, always learning. I didn’t know he was that vocal, watching him last year, but this year he’s definitely very vocal. He’s a leader on and off the floor and I’m glad he’s on the same team as me.”
After also being selected No. 2 overall, Ingram had a learning curve to adjust to going into the NBA. However, the Lakers quietly saw his development live in games, as he became an aggressive threat on offense. During his lone appearance in the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, Ingram dazzled against the Los Angeles Clippers, before an injury scare caused Magic Johnson to shut him down.
However, Ingram displayed an offensive mentality that Lakers fans had not seen, leaving them optimistic about a potential breakout season. At the same time, Ingram’s basketball IQ and athletic abilities allow him to affect the game in multiple facets, as a capable defender, rebounder, and passer.
Lakers fans have a lot to be excited about entering the 2017-18 campaign, with two new additions in Lopez and Caldwell-Pope to help On both sides of the ball. With head coach Luke Walton guiding his team, Ball will thrive in the open court, as Ingram develops into a scary two-way player.