Duke in the NBA: Lakers exercise option on Brandon Ingram

It’s been a long few years for Los Angeles Lakers fans but by exercising the option of a former Duke Basketball player, the future continues to get bright.

Brandon Ingram was the No. 2 Overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and he isn’t going any where any time soon as the Lakers have exercised their team option on the Duke Basketball product for the 2019-20 season.

Ingram will be starting his third season with the Lakers and where expectations are at the highest of his tenure with the team, primarily due to the addition of LeBron James.

Along with Ingram, the Lakers also exercised the option of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart, locking up their young core for the next couple of years.

In his rookie season in 2016-17, Ingram only averaged 9.4 points per game along with 4.0 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, while shooting 40.2% from the floor and 29.4% from three point range.

As Brandon Ingram grew more accustomed to life in the NBA, he began to take off last season as he finished his sophomore campaign with an average of 16.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists.

Ingram also greatly improved his shooting numbers last year as from the floor he shot 47.0% from the field and 39.0% from beyond the three point arc.

While the points per game average might not rise for Ingram this season due to James commanding most of the shots in the Lakers offense, the biggest sense of growth and improvement for Ingram will show in his efficiency numbers as well as his shooting percentages.

As the Lakers are set to embark on a journey that they hope will land them in the playoff this April, they will need to have contributions from their young core, led by Brandon Ingram, to help LeBron James carry the load in Los Angeles.

The Lakers begin their season on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night at 10:30 pm ET on TNT, before returning back in L.A. for the home opener against the Houston Rockets on Saturday night on ESPN.