EL SEGUNDO — Even as he stayed consumed with the Golden State Warriors’ playoff run, Lakers coach Luke Walton watched enough tape of Brandon Ingram that featured plenty of images.
Walton gushed about Ingram’s length. Walton complimented Ingram’s defensive awareness. Walton praised Ingram’s leadership qualities.
But when it came toward assessing Ingram’s a rail-thin 6-9, 190-pound frame? Even if NBA talent evaluators have constantly brought up that issue, Walton insisted he “doesn’t see concerns about his weight” for one simple reason.
“He’s young; he’ll naturally get stronger,” Walton said on Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility. “Talking to some of the coaches that were here when he came and did his workout, even though he’s skinny, he had strength to him in the individual workout that he did. That’s good to hear.”
Ingram said he has gone from weighing 169 pounds to 195 in the past year because of constant workouts and high-caloric meals. He also has said he wants to weigh 210 pounds by the beginning of the 2016-17 season. Yet those around Ingram have downplayed his weight issues, arguing that he can overcome such a weakness with superior defense and an outside shot.
“I don’t know if he’s the best or not, but he’s the player I wanted,” Walton said. “What he has the potential of doing and what he can already do at his age, with his length and his skill set, is very impressive and unique.”