In League history, there are few players who can fit anywhere. Players like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson fit seamlessly in any offensive system due to their off-ball skills. But most NBA players are like Puzzle pieces and need to find the best system to unlock their full potential. The problem is that few players actually reach the team that would complement their strengths and cover up there weaknesses.
In the last article, we covered how Lonzo Ball has begun to evolve as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. This issue will focus on his Allstar teammate Brandon Ingram.
Ingram’s collegiate career was a successful one and done. As a standout forward on the Duke Blue Devils, he averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2 assists while shooting a 52.5 efficient field goal percentage. In his one and only season in the NCAA, he was named All -ACC ACC All-Freshman and ACC Rookie of the year.
Ingram was selected with the 2nd pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. The only player selected ahead of him was LSU standout, Ben Simmons. Ingram quickly drew comparisons to Superstar Kevin Durant due to their body type. Skinny and lengthy Ingram was expected to take the league by storm with Simmons on the sidelines for the year. Instead, Ingram produced a very modest rookie year averaging 9.4 points,2.1 assists, and 4 rebounds while shooting an abysmal 44.2 efficient field goal percentage. The next year with the arrival of rookies Lonzo Ball and surprise upstart Kyle Kuzma Ingram averaged 16.1 points, 3.9 assists, and 5.3 rebounds while shooting a much improved 49.7 efficient field goal percentage. Ingram was bitten by the injury bug as he played in only 59 games.
In Ingram’s 3rd season the Lakers had high expectations with the arrival of one of the greatest players of all time: Lebron James. Ingram averaged 18.3 points, 3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds while shooting a once a more improved 51.8 efficient field goal percentage. Lakers fans watched in distress as they saw their whole season lost to injuries.
In the offseason, Ingram was included in a trade package for superstar Big Man Anthony Davis. Other players included in the trade are Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. This season Brandon Ingram has emerged as a star. With his silky smooth midrange jump shot and his ability to take advantage of his frame to get to the rim, Ingram is one of the leagues, premier young scorers. This year he’s averaging 24.3 points 4.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds while shooting a 53.4 percent efficient field goal percentage. Ingram’s hard work is starting to come to fruition. He’s shooting a career-high 85.8 free throw percentage while his average from the past three years was just 66 percent. He’s also shooting a career-high 38.7 percent from the three-point line while attempting 6.3 per game. All in all, Ingrams had a career year all across the board and with his development along with the rest of the pieces in New Orleans the future is very bright for the pelicans. There’s no doubt that his development has been sped up by the pelicans allowing him to be a maim play initiator.