Realistic Expectations for LA Lakers Rookie Brandon Ingram in 2016-17

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the offseason needing a small forward who could contribute right away while also growing with the team for years to come. They got just that with Brandon Ingram.

With the closing of one chapter as Kobe Bryant rode off into retirement after a disappointing 17-65 season, it's also the opening of a new one with an 18-year-old rookie many considered to be the top prospect in this year's draft.

After the Philadelphia 76ers selected Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick, the Lakers got to choose more than a consolation prize at No. 2. Long and lanky at 6'9" and just 190 pounds, Ingram possesses the natural instincts, willpower and three-and-D skills that comport perfectly with the kind of system new Lakers head coach Luke Walton will attempt to establish.

The Lakers appeared set on Ingram in the lead-up to the draft, having worked him out and taken him to dinner as well.

"It went great," Ingram said at the time, per Joey Ramirez of "All the coaches made me feel comfortable around there, and we just had a good time watching the [NBA Finals] game and having dinner."

Walton wasn't present at that meal, even though the Lakers had signed him to a multiyear contract in late April. Instead, he was at the game the Lakers contingent was watching on TV, serving as the Golden State Warriors' lead assistant. But once the Finals were over, L.A.'s new head coach headed south. After the draft, he weighed in on the result.

"We got the player I wanted in the draft," Walton said, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know if he's the best or not, but we got the player I wanted, for sure. What he has the potential of doing and what he can already do at his age with his length and skill set is very impressive and unique."


Team Fit

Ingram should be a fantastic fit with this Lakers squad. He shot 41 pe...

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