Brandon Ingram was considered to be the future face of the Los Angeles Lakers when he was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
After a dismal rookie season, Ingram showed flashes in his sophomore season and looked to be well on his way to becoming one of the league’s future stars. However, in his third season, the 21-year-old has turned in an up-and-down year due to an early suspension and an ankle injury that has forced him to miss several games.
Ingram’s fit next to LeBron James has also been an issue as he has been forced more off the ball and has struggled at times to figure out his role on offense. Playing next to James requires players to be able to move without the basketball and hit spot-up shots, things Ingram is clearly still working on.
Ingram has apparently taken notice as he seems to be focused on addressing at least one of those issues, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers:
Ingram said he noticed “How good guys were moving without the basketball” when he was out, and that’ll be an area of focus.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 20, 2018
Being able to move more effectively off the ball would greatly increase Ingram’s value when he shares the floor with James. Kyle Kuzma is a good example of how to play with James as he has seen plenty of easy scoring opportunities via cuts or spot-up opportunities.
An anonymous executive already believes Ingram will be traded at some point for another All-Star but it remains to be seen as the Lakers have not had much time to evaluate his fit next to James. Anthony Davis may be available in the future and Ingram figures to be a key piece in a potential trade should it materialize.
After missing seven games, Ingram seems poised to return against the New Orleans Pelicans. Hopefully, he can get back on track on offense and provide a sorely needed boost to the team.