Luke Walton Comments on Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, State of Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers haven't cracked 30 wins since the 2012-13 season, but new head coach Luke Walton will attempt to reverse course and lead the Purple and Gold back to prosperity during his first year at the helm. 

And if Walton hopes to gradually restore the Lakers' status as one of the NBA's most exciting young teams, he'll need to develop the talents of youngsters Brandon Ingram and D'Angelo Russell along the way. 

Speaking to the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina, Walton said he sees big things ahead for the 20-year-old point guard:

He’s ready to take the steps forward in this league toward becoming a leader, becoming a top point guard and competing every single night. There’s a lot of growth to be had still. But he showed me he wants three things. He wants to be great. He wants to win. And he wants to lead. That’s what I want out of a point guard.

Russell averaged 13.2 points, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 41 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from three during his rookie season, and his production after the All-Star break was one of the team's few bright sports as the Lakers stumbled to a 17-65 finish. 

The Ohio State product also established himself as a solid spot-up shooter. According to Synergy Sports' play-type data, Russell generated 0.99 points per spot-up possession. That figure was good enough to place him in the 62nd percentile—essentially even with Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan. 

As for Russell's newest running mate, Walton didn't hesitate to temper expectations when it comes to Ingram's immediate contributions. 

According to Medina, Walton said "we’re not going to throw him into the starting lineup right away" and later elaborated on his philosophy when it comes to doling out minutes to more inexperienced players: 

You develop the young c...

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