Former Blue Devil Brandon Ingram was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the #2 pick in the NBA Draft but will not be a starter for the upcoming season.
Former Duke wing Brandon Ingram has high expectations heading into his rookie NBA season receiving Kobe Bryant’s old locker, voted by his peers to have the best pro career, and is one of the favorites to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award. However, the Los Angeles Lakers surprisingly announced that Ingram will not start for the team heading into the season.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton mentioned in a preseason press conference that their #2 overall pick Brandon Ingram will come off the bench at the beginning of the season saying “we’re not going to throw him into the starting lineup right away”. Walton defends his decision by saying he wants to:
"“develop the young core by rewarding them when they play well…you’re not doing anyone any favors just by playing young guys so they can play if they’re not out there playing the right way.”"
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Ingram averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game last season. He also earned ACC Freshman of the Year and numerous NCAA All-America honors. The 6-9 wing is a very versatile player who can play on the perimeter as well as in the paint, and has drawn many comparisons to All-Star Kevin Durant. After the draft the Lakers were worried about Ingram’s weight and skinny frame, and have put him on a weight plan to help gain strength and prepare for the NBA season.
Ingram will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by another former Blue Devil playing behind Luol Deng. Despite the early benching, Walton is still very impressed with Brandon Ingram’s talent and has been “absolutely thrilled” with his progress so far. Let us know what you think about the Lakers’ decision to bench Ingram to start the season in the comments and social media and hopefully he’s able to earn consistent minutes and playing time during his rookie season this year.