There’s a lot to like about Brandon Ingram‘s game. He is a fluid athlete, can shoot the three, has a good hoops IQ, has good handles (allowing him to be on either end of a pick-and-roll) and at Summer League looked like someone with the potential to be a modern NBA four down the line. Once he gets stronger. Every time a Lakers fan sees Ingram around town they should buy him a protein shake.
Ultimately, Ingram might develop into a better defender than an offensive player. He wants to be good on the defensive end, and he has gotten advice from NBA veterans as part of the USA Select team. He also talked to the Warriors best wing defender, Andre Iguodala, Ingram told Collin Cowherd on Fox Sports Radio (hat tip and transcription by Eye on Basketball).
“Well, the NBA veterans that I’ve been around, they always try to help. Even guys from other teams. When I played with the USA Select Team, all those guys were giving me advice. Even guys playing pickup coming to the Lakers facility. (Including) Andre Iguodala….
“I watch a lot of his play defensively. He’s a great defensive guy. I even text with him sometimes, and he just tells me it’s going to be a process, but I have a chance to be special on the defensive end and offensive end.”
This is fairly common, by the way. NBA players view themselves as being in a fraternity of the world’s elite players, and most veterans are willing to pass along their knowledge to young players who bother to ask and listen. Not enough young players ask, but veterans are willing to help. Regardless of team.
Ingram is athletic and freakishly long, which could help him develop into an excellent defender. He’s got to get stronger, and he needs experience on that end, but the potential is there.
Iguodala is right, everything about Ingram is going to be a process. Watching him at Summer League you could see why the Lakers took him with the No. 2 pick, but you could also see he has a long way to go to reach his potential. That he is working out with and talking to veterans trying to learn is a good sign.