Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak today announced the signing of the team's first round draft pick, forward Brandon Ingram.
Drafted with the second overall selection of the 2016 NBA Draft in June, Ingram averaged 12.2 points (second on the team), 4.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists over his five games (all starts) at the 2016 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Following his Summer League play, Ingram was selected by USA Basketball to participate as a member of the 2016 USA Men’s Select Team, where his play impressed The Daily Sports Herald's staff covering the event.
Ingram instantly has become the most intriguing of the team's young players, as his jump shot and ballhandling skills, coupled with his length, athleticism, and temperament, all combine to make him the player with by far the most upside on the roster.
D'Angelo Russell may steal all the ink, but he may turn out to be nothing more than a solid, slow-footed point guard with a nice mid-range game, overrated court vision, and a streaky three-point shot.
Ingram on the other hand evokes visions of Kevin Durant, or of perhaps developing one day into a poor man's Scottie Pippen on defense.
The 18-year-old was the consensus ACC Freshman of the year in his lone collegiate season at Duke, while also earning a consensus Second Team All-ACC selection. He finished the season ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring (17.3), seventh in three-point percentage (.410) and minutes played (34.6), ninth in three-pointers made per game (2.2), 10th in blocks (1.4), and 13th in rebounds (6.8).
The Kinston, North Carolina native really blossomed in the NCAA Tournament where he was Duke’s leading scorer, averaging 23.0 points per game to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over the three games, and scoring at least 20 points in each contest while playing in 119 of a possible 120 minutes of action.
The 6’9’’ Ingram was a member of USA Basketball’s 2015 United States Junior National Select Team and was a Parade All-American as a senior at Kinston High School. He won four straight 2A state championships, becoming one of two players in history to win four consecutive North Carolina State Championships, and was MVP of the state championship game as a senior.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services