The Los Angeles Lakers have had the second overall pick in the last three NBA Drafts. Although the first one didn’t work out as they traded D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets this offseason, they have high hopes for the other two. Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are pegged as the two guys to turn around the franchise that has suffered through the worst four season stretch in Lakers history.
Ingram struggled a bit in his rookie season, particularly with his shot, but his second half of the season was a big improvement as he demonstrated what he is capable of. He continued to build on that in the Las Vegas Summer League when he scored 26 points in the only game he played, scoring in a variety of ways.
Ball played alongside him in that Summer League game and has been working out with him all summer. Ball has seen what Ingram is capable of and in an interview with Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet he said he believes Ingram is going to have a big season:
“You could see it in practice, he’s in here every day putting in work. He’s very vocal now, I didn’t think he talked that much but he definitely talks a lot of the court and he helps me. I know he helps the team so I’m looking forward to playing with him this year,” Ball said. “He’s a whole different player this year.”
Last year Ingram averaged just 8.0 points and 1.9 assists while shooting 36.3 percent from the field before the All-Star break. After the break however, he averaged 13.2 points and 2.5 assists, shooting 47.5 percent so the improvement has already begun.
Ingram himself recently said that he believes the lessons he learned his rookie season will help him improve this year, and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka also has high expectations for Ingram as he said the second-year forward will be the team’s primary playmaker late in games this season.