With the second pick in the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Brandon Ingram, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 6-foot, 9-inch tall, 195 pound guard has the potential to become a franchise player in the National Basketball Association. Without having played a game for the Lakers, the fanbase already has increased morale because of his arrival.
After spending two decades in the NBA as one of the most dominant players, Kobe Bryant has decided to walk away from professional basketball. He was the franchise player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant leaves behind pretty big shoes behind to fill for those who follow him.
Brandon Ingram is not going to try to fill those shoes left behind by Kobe Bryant. His father was a referee on the high school and college level. The elder Ingram knows how the game of basketball works. Ingram is simply going to forge his own path and do what he does best.
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) June 24, 2016
What Brandon Ingram will try to fill is the small forward position that has been left behind by Kobe Bryant. The legendary Bryant spent most of his career playing shooting guard, but he moved to small forward to accommodate the development of D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson.
D’Angelo Russell is going to occupy one of the starting guard spots, especially since Byron Scott is no longer the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Scott, a legendary player for the team during their NBA Championship years, butted heads with Russell on several occasions because he felt that the rookie needed to focus more on defense.
The other guard spot should belong to Jordan Clarkson. However, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak needs to sit down with Clarkson this summer to work on a new contract. Clarkson is a restricted free agent, but he wants to remain with the Lakers.
With D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, the Los Angeles Lakers should have one of the more competitive back courts in the entire NBA. New head coach Luke Walton will develop Russell and Clarkson and try to mold them into the same dynamic guard tandem as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.
The Los Angeles Lakers should have a pretty good starting forward tandem as well. Between Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle, the team has quite a bit of versatility along the front line. Ingram and Randle can do quite a bit of damage from the perimeter, so NBA teams will need to figure out how to slow them down.
With the guards and forwards set, the Los Angeles Lakers need to set their sights on the center position. Roy Hibbert is not really a part of the future. The team would reportedly love to find an upgrade via free agency.
One of the players being discussed a potential replacement for Roy Hibbert is Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat. The enigmatic center is expected to be one of the most coveted NBA players in free agency. Whiteside is a bit of a risk, but he could provide the Los Angeles Lakers with an upgrade in the pivot.
There’s also the chance that the Los Angeles Lakers upgrade the center position with the player that the chose in the second round. Ivica Zubac is a 7-foot, 1-inch tall player, and one of the many Croatian players in the NBA Draft.
For years, Los Angeles Lakers fans were accustomed to being in the NBA Playoffs. That has not been the case as of late, as the team has struggled to get victories. Drafting Brandon Ingram should help to turn things around. He might even be the guy to lead them back to glory.
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