While this should come as no surprise to anyone, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to select Duke forward Brandon Ingram with the No. 2 overall pick in tomorrow’s 2016 NBA draft. In a draft that many believe only includes two potential star players, Ingram and Ben Simmons, the Philadelphia 76ers apparently made the Lakers’ decision for them.
Even though nothing is official, a report came out yesterday claiming that the 76ers are indeed going to select Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick, which leaves Ingram for the Lakers at No. 2. Concerns have come out over the past few months regarding Ingram’s lack of size and strength, but he is also apparently eating six meals per day in order to add extra weight.
As ESPN.com reports, new Lakers head coach Luke Walton and other members of the staff spent a significant amount of time mulling over the decision.
“The Lakers spent three hours huddled with new head coach Luke Walton on Tuesday night before signaling to multiple league sources that Ingram would be their choice if the Sixers select Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick.”
The Lakers have reportedly considered other players, notably Kris Dunn and Buddy Hield, but it appears as though they feel Ingram is the best fit for the future of their organization. Standing tall at six-foot-nine, Ingram also has an elite seven-foot-three wingspan. While height is an extremely important factor for an NBA player, having a long wingspan can make up for a slight lack of height when going up against a taller player.
As CBS Sports notes, Ingram is an inch shorter than fellow top prospect Simmons, but his wingspan is more than two inches longer. In addition to being a great shooter, Ingram also has the potential to be an above-average NBA defender. The biggest question mark regarding Ingram is his weight and strength. While he is still only 18-years-old, his weight of 190 pounds is a cause for concern. Players such as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant have been successful in the NBA despite their small frames, but many have not been able to overcome the deficiency.
The good news for Lakers’ fans is that Ingram is already attempting to gain 20 pounds for his rookie season, as reported by USA Today.
“It starts with breakfast, maybe ‘some of the things I like: eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes,’ he says. That’s followed by a lift or some basketball. His nutritionist has him get a shake. Not long after that, he’s downing a protein bar before another workout. Then it’s on to what basically counts as lunch: A sandwich, perhaps. Dinner can be rice and vegetables along with chicken, which he’s been eating a lot of. But there are other options. ‘I’m a filet guy,’ he says, ‘so I like steak.’ Then, before bed, a midnight snack. That’s helped him put on seven pounds, with the hopes of gaining 13 more to bring him to 210.”
While it is impressive that Ingram has already been able to gain seven pounds, he is going to have to maintain the added weight throughout the entire season. Many players have added weight in the offseason to only see it quickly come off as the rigors of the season begins. Weight and strength is not everything, but Ingram is going to be going up against grown men in a few months. What worked physically against college kids is going to be a lot more difficult when facing 28-year-old veterans who have filled their frames out. Regardless, Ingram’s work ethic and dedication to getting better is a good sign.
Even though nothing is official, the latest rumors believe that the Los Angeles Lakers will draft Duke forward Brandon Ingram with the No. 2 overall pick. Unless the Lakers receive a trade offer that they cannot refuse, Ingram will be a Laker tomorrow night.
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