In the 2016 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Brandon Ingram from Duke University.
The Lakers finally got something right picking the 18-year-old star from Duke. Ingram brings length with a 7’3 wingspan and 9’1 1/2 standing reach coming in at 6’9.5 and only 196 pounds. Last season shooting for the Blue Devils Ingram was 41% from three-point range and 46% from 2-point range averaging 17.3 points per game. Although Ingram is thin and will undoubtedly have to get bigger, he is stronger than his slim body type appears and should have no trouble becoming accustomed to the league. He was a no-brainer at no. 2 overall for L.A. as the clear second-best prospect coming out of the draft.
The Lakers are coming off three-straight losing seasons for the first time in franchise history since moving to Los Angeles and with Kobe Bryant retired are now ready to regain competitiveness. The Salary Cap is up to 94 million in the 2016-2017 season from 70 million this season so the Lakers have the money to spend to get veteran players around their young talent and there are plenty of talented free agents on the market. Big names such as Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Hassan Whiteside, and even Harrison Barnes have all been on Lakers radar. If they cannot acquire any of these players, they need to attract players that can be developed into stars, along with role players that will play within the system which would be an upgrade from Nick Young. One of the Lakers’ biggest priorities, however, must be landing an athletic center that can run the floor.
On Tuesday, the Lakers officially introduced 36-year-old Luke Walton as head coach, something that all Laker fans have been anxiously waiting for after the team’s last three head coaches. Mike Brown, let’s be honest, only got where he did because of LeBron James and Mike D’Antoni and his fast-paced offense were never going to work for an aging Lakers team. As for Bryan Scott, though he made it to the finals with a young Jason Kidd and Chris Paul, he came to Los Angeles to coach an aging and ailing Kobe with untalented role players and unproven youngsters. Walton, on the other hand, is coming off his time as an assistant coach and a very successful stint as interim head coach with the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers’ young core will be familiar to Walton as they can run the floor like his former team and their no. 2 draft pick should fit well in that system. After three losing seasons and three lottery draft picks the Lakers are finally heading in the right direction. They have a new coach players will respect and solid building blocks for the future, they can only go up from here.
Draft Grade: A