(J Alexander Diaz/Lakers.com)
Lakers Draft Brandon Ingram with No. 2 Pick
The Lakers’ young core has officially grown by one key piece, as Los Angeles selected Brandon Ingram with the second-overall pick at the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday.
The 6-foot-9 small forward averaged 17.3 points in his only year at Duke, tying Jahlil Okafor for the third-most by a freshman in program history. He also ranked sixth in his conference, which earned him honors of ACC Rookie of the Year and Second Team All-ACC.
With a 7-foot-3 wingspan that may have expanded since being measured in 2015, Ingram’s length helps him stand out on both sides of the floor.
Paired with a sweet shooting motion, his frame helped him hit 44.2 percent from the field and 41.0 percent on 3-pointers with the Blue Devils. He topped 20 points 14 times, which bolstered Duke, as it won on a dozen of those occasions.
Ingram — who is also hailed as an underrated passer — put his scoring on display at the NCAA Tournament, where he averaged 23.0 points on a 45.1 percent clip against North Carolina-Wilmington, Yale and Oregon.
On the other end, his size made him a plus defender in college, capable of swallowing up opposing wings or swatting shots like he did with six blocks against Virginia Tech on Jan. 9.
Like a pair of his new teammates, Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell, Ingram was selected to serve on the USA Select Team this summer, which will help the U.S. National Team prepare for the 2016 Olympics.
Prior to his stint with Duke, Ingram helped Kinston High capture the North Carolina State Championship in all four years, becoming the first player to ever do so. For his efforts, he was named a McDonald’s All-American and Parade All-American, while ESPN ranked him as the No. 3 recruit in the country.
Ingram joins Jerry West, Dave Meyers and Russell among the No. 2 picks in franchise history. Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and James Worthy were also chosen by L.A. in the top two.
The Philadelphia 76ers selected LSU forward Ben Simmons with the only pick before Ingram.