With NBA Summer League now officially in the books for the Los Angeles Lakers, D’Angelo Russell, and rookie Brandon Ingram now must embrace another valuable learning experience in Las Vegas. Both players join teammate Julius Randle on the USA Select Team and will have the opportunity to soak up the knowledge from some of the best and brightest the NBA has to offer while being coached by Gregg Popovich.
Following the first day of practice, Ingram talked about the experience and learning from some of the league’s elite players, via Lakers reporter Joey Ramirez:
“I’m just here with the greatest players in the league right now,” Ingram said. “I think it’s a great start to start of my career here and try to learn from these guys and see what they do well.”
Ingram also had high praise for Randle. The Duke product talked about Randle’s leadership on the basketball floor, via Ramirez:
“He was being a leader out there today,” Ingram said. “He’s a strong, athletic guy and he was just attacking the rim and doing the things that he does well. It was exciting to play there with him and D’Angelo today.”
Russell, Ingram, and Randle all getting a chance to put some extra work in together while learning from Popovich and company is extremely beneficial for the talented Lakers trio. All three players seem to be highly motivated right now and relishing in the opportunity they’ve been given this summer. Not one of the three appears to be taking this opportunity for granted.
It’ll be interesting to see if this experience pays off next season. Russell already seems to have made strides in his development before joining the USA Select Team while Ingram showed promise in Summer League. Randle’s progress remains to be seen, but he has been a gym rat in the off-season much like his teammates Jordan Clarkson and Russell.