The player left Lakers coach Luke Walton giddy about his long-term potential. Walton marveled at his defense, outside shooting, versatility and work ethic. And when asked, Walton informed Lakers vice president of player personnel Jim Buss about his hope the Lakers draft that player.
Walton received that wish. The Lakers selected Duke forward Brandon Ingram with their No. 2 pick. The selection seemed inevitable because the Sixers drafted Ben Simmons at No. 1 and Ingram filled plenty of needs the Lakers lacked.
Despite Walton predicting that Ingram will be “a phenomenal player in this league as his career unfolds,” the Lakers’ coach envisioned something different for how the first chapter of Ingram’s NBA journey unfolds.
“We’re not going to throw him into the starting lineup right away,” Walton said in a recent interview with Southern California News Group. “We’re not going to play him 40 minutes a night. It’s going to be a gradual process.”
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