No Laker made a greater in-season leap than Brandon Ingram, who took his lumps in the beginning of the year before becoming one of Los Angeles’ most efficient scorers down the stretch.
Ingram scored in double figures in all of his final 16 full games of the season, averaging 13.9 points on 48.3 percent shooting during this conclusion. Despite his thin frame, he was excellent when finishing at the rim and also showed off a refined mid-range game.
The second-overall pick was also one of the Lakers’ more reliable perimeter defenders all season. He had the opportunity to cover all kinds of players, as head coach Luke Walton tested his versatility by starting him at point guard, shooting guard and small forward, while also giving him some minutes at power forward.
With his 7-foot-4 wingspan, Ingram was most effective at the three, but his unique skill set — including his ball handling and passing ability — will give him opportunities to continue shuffling around between positions in the future.
By the Numbers
19: Ingram’s age, making him the second-youngest player in the NBA. He also nearly became the youngest in league history with a triple-double, but came one point and one assist shy against Cleveland.
28.8: Minutes played, which led all rookies.
67.0: Percentage shot in the restricted area post-All-Star Weekend — a 14.6 percent improvement from before the break.
Ingram has plenty of plans heading into his sophomore year, including working out with recently-retired legend Kobe Bryant, at the suggestion of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. Ingram will also look to add some muscle onto his 190-pound frame, while making improvements with his 3-point shot (29.4 percent) and free throw attempts (62.1).