There wasn't much of a mystery around the Los Angeles Lakers‘ number two overall pick. Barring a trade, it was revealed earlier this week that the Purple & Gold planned to select Duke's Brandon Ingram, assuming that Philadelphia took Ben Simmons before that instead.
Sure enough, when Los Angeles came up on the clock on Thursday night, Ingram's name was read off by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Ingram was officially a Laker, and he was ecstatic.
“It feels great,” Ingram said, via Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. “I just know, going to this organization I'll have to work extra hard to be with those guys, and just come up and be the best we can be.”
The freshman averaged 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Blue Devils, but it was his 41 percent shooting from three-point land and his extensive length that really captivated scouts.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak didn't hold back when complimenting his coveted draft pick.
From the Associated Press:
“We're ecstatic to have him,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “There is no ceiling on him. To date, he's had a pretty good career in a pretty good conference for a one-year player.”
The comment about Ingram not having a ceiling is especially noteworthy. The belief the Lakers have in their new rookie becoming one of the best players in the NBA eventually seems evident if they really think his talents have no bounds.
Head coach Luke Walton was in a jubilent mood after the selection as well.
“We got the player that I wanted in the draft,” Walton said. “I don't know if he's the best (player in the draft) or not, but he's 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, is very impressive and unique.”
Walton also expressed no concerns about Ingram's slender frame, one of the few worries that scouts had about him.
“I don't see concerns about his weight,” Walton said. “He's young. He'll naturally get stronger. … Even though he's skinny, he had strength to him in the individual workout that he did (for the Lakers).”
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