The Los Angeles Lakers have a different feel to them this season, as there will be no more tanking or focusing on draft picks, instead the focus will shift towards developing their already young core and getting back to their winning ways.
One player who should play a big part in that is Brandon Ingram, who is heading into his second season after the Lakers took him with the second overall pick in 2016.
Ingram struggled a bit in the first half of his rookie season, but really found his groove in the second half and carried that into the Las Vegas Summer League when he scored 26 points in the lone game he played, showing tremendous improvements in all facets of his game.
Much more will be expected of Ingram in his second season, both as a player on the court and a leader off it. At Lakers Media Day on Monday, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson appeared on Spectrum SportsNet and spoke about Ingram’s mentality going into this season and what he expects out of his young forward:
“Brandon finally said ‘I’m not deferring no more. I’ve had Lou Williams, I’ve had Nick Young, I had to pass it to. It’s my team now. I’m going to be the first option on this team.’ And he’s looking forward to it. He’s been practicing so hard all summer long and I told him ‘if you don’t average 20 points a game I’m going to be disappointed.’”
Ingram’s potential is endless due to his length and unique skillset, so averaging 20 points per game is definitely not out of the question for him.
The additions of Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez will also do wonders for Ingram as teams will not be able to double-team him, and he will not only be able to be a scorer but also a playmaker, something he proved he can do when he played some point guard last season.
If the Lakers are successful this season Ingram will be a big part of that and could possibly be the Lakers first All-Star since Kobe Bryant’s last season if everything goes as planned.