When you see Brandon Ingram in person, you can’t help but have your first thought be “man, is he skinny.”
When he starts to play then you see why he went No. 2 in last June’s draft to the Lakers — he has a smooth, fluid game, can shoot the three, good IQ, he even ran the offense at points, and looked like a modern NBA four who can do a lot of damage down the line in the league.
Once he gets stronger. Teams at the NBA Summer League tried to cover him often with shorter but physically stronger players — the Sixers’ Jerami Grant, for example — and Ingram struggled with that. It will only get worse once real NBA games start.
Just don’t confuse his physical strength with being soft, scouts and coaches of other teams told Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s a difference between being soft and being weak. He’s just weak right now. He’s not soft, by any stretch of the imagination,” a Western Conference head coach said of Ingram. “The kid is skilled. He’s got a good basketball IQ. He’s going to be more than fine. I think the Lakers got themselves a big-time player who is going to be around a long time.”
“I saw a good-looking prospect,” an Eastern Conference scout said of Ingram. “There were some games where he excelled, and there were some games where he struggled. But overall . . . he’s a matchup nightmare.”…
“Every time somebody got physical with him or leaned on him, he just wilted. He just kind of folded. And he was kind of like that the rest of the summer league,” a Western Conference assistant coach said of Ingram. “It’s going to be interesting to see how he adjusts to the NBA. The summer league is not the league.”
It’s going to take Ingram a season or two to put his imprint on the NBA. He’s got to get stronger, and like every rookie he’s got to see how his game and skill set fits in the league. What can he do, what should he stay away from.
What you had to like if you’re a Laker fan is how hard he continued to play, how he got better as Summer League went on. Then he stayed in Las Vegas as was part of the USA Basketball select team, where he was pushed around by the Olympians and challenged by the other guys just starting in the NBA. It’s a great learning experience. Both those situations were also chances to bond with Laker star D'Angelo Russell, both on and off the court.
There’s a lot to like with Ingram. Now someone get that kid a protein shake.
Not everyone is convinced of the Heat president’s authenticity.
Some in the Bosh camp remain angry and suspicious of the Heat’s intentions, wondering if Miami was motivated by clearing cap space. A Heat source insists this is not the case, that Miami wants him to play if doctors are comfortable with it.
An NBA-employed friend says Bosh very much wants to play and believes he should be cleared. If the Heat fights him on this, it wouldn’t be surprising if Bosh takes this issue to the players union
one issue that has been discussed is whether Bosh should come off blood thinners or continue taking them, according to a person briefed on the matter.
If Bosh comes off the medication this summer, there’s no reason why he couldn’t play.
But even if he stays on the thinners, Bosh has tried to convince the Heat to allow him to play while taking a new medication that would be out of his system in 8 to 12 hours, or by game-time, thus lessening or eliminating the inherent risks of playing a contact sport while on thinners.
It’s hard to believe the Heat have nefarious intentions — not just because they reportedly expect Bosh to play next season, but because a salary-cap workaround would likely fail.
If Bosh goes a year without playing (last game:Feb. 9), Miami waives him and a doctor approved by the NBA and players union says Bosh’s condition is career-ending, the Heat could exclude Bosh’s salary from team salary. He’d still get paid. He just wouldn’t count toward the cap.
So, the $75,868,170 Bosh is owed the next three years is protected. It’s just a matter of whether Miami frees cap space.
But even the Heat sitting Bosh for a year and convincing a union-approved doctor of Bosh’s inability to safely play wouldn’t be enough.
If Bosh plays 25 games for another team after an injury exclusion, his salary would be put back on Miami’s books. That might allow the Heat temporary cap room to sign someone, but with Bosh’s salary applied, their luxury-tax bill would be prohibitively enormous.
So, we’re probably back to the previous questions:
Can Bosh safely play while on blood thinners? Probably not, though there might not be total agreement on that.
Does Bosh need to continue taking blood thinners? That’s a much more complicated question. Hence, the lack of a resolution to this issue.
Kevin Durant is a villain to many now.
Including some delusional fans in Los Angeles, who thought he might come to the Lakers (the real question becomes: is Jim Buss in this group). He didn’t even give the Lakers a meeting.
So he got some boos when being introduced before the Team USA rout of China at Staples Center Sunday (there may have been some Clippers fans in that booing group too). It was a mixed reaction, but no doubt there was some people letting him hear it.
He can expect to hear a lot more of this next season as he and his Warriors teammates travel around the league. Plenty of people are now rooting against him.
As for why the Lakers didn’t even get a meeting with KD, he had a very reasonable reason (something he said while in Las Vegas for the USA training camp last week.
“Nothing against the Lakers, but I already had my mind set on who I wanted to talk to,” Durant said. “I really respect their team. I just thought they were a couple years away from where I wanted to be.”