The Los Angeles Lakers 2017-18 schedule was revealed on Monday, meaning that last season is officially over and fans can begin looking forward to the upcoming season.
One Lakers player who is ready for a new season is Brandon Ingram, who didn’t quite meet expectations in his rookie year after being drafted No. 2 overall, but has worked hard this summer and could be one of the most improved players in the NBA.
Other than Julius Randle, Ingram will likely be surrounded with completely new teammates in the Lakers starting lineup, as rookie Lonzo Ball, and offseason acquisitions Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brook Lopez figure to start.
Despite the additions of Ball, Caldwell-Pope and Lopez, some very talented players, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka believes Ingram is going to be the team’s primary playmaker down the stretch of games, as he recently stated in an interview on NBA TV:
“He’s gonna be our end of the game playmaker. He’s gonna have to step up and make big plays on both sides of the ball […] Because of Brandon’s versatility, Luke Walton will play him at the 1, the 2, the 3 and really call on him night in, night out to make those big plays in key moments.”
Ingram demonstrated what he is capable of in the Las Vegas Summer League, as in the only game he played he scored 26 points, including the game tying layup to send the game against the Los Angeles Clippers to overtime.
Ingram has reportedly put in a lot of work in the weight room this summer, so he should be a lot stronger than he was his rookie year. The soon-to-be 20-year-old possesses a very unique skill set due to his size, length and ball handling ability, so he could be a matchup nightmare this season if he gets some time at point guard down the stretch of games as Pelinka mentioned is a possibility.