Brandon Ingram is looked at as one of the new faces of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. Coming in at number 2 in the 2016 NBA Draft, the anticipation of seeing what he can do this season is beyond extreme measures. Seeing him play at Duke, everyone knew the athleticism and the offensive threat was there. But defensively where would he stand?
At 6’9, 190 pounds, and a wingspan of about 7’3 he has all the attributes to be a problem on the defensive side of the ball. Looking at his build, he will obviously need to bulk up some more but overall he has the length and athleticism to be a very good defender. During his time with the USA Select team, he got a chance to speak with some NBA players. One being Andre Iguodala who’s a premier defender in the NBA today (via Ananth Pandian of CBSSports):
“Well, the NBA veterans that I’ve been around, they always try to help. Even guys from other teams. When I played with the USA Select Team, all those guys were giving me advice. Even guys playing pickup coming to the Lakers facility. (Including) Andre Iguodala….
“I watch a lot of his play defensively. He’s a great defensive guy. I even text with him sometimes, and he just tells me it’s going to be a process, but I have a chance to be special on the defensive end and offensive end.”
Andre Iguodala is the right guy to be texting about your defense. He’s a top 5 wing defender in the league today that can defend multiple positions. He deals with the best offensive players on a night to night basis and makes a living off of making things difficult for his opponents.
Ingram can be that for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Often guys want to make their splash by scoring the ball and doing things that appear on the stat sheet but why not make your presence felt on the defensive end and let the offensive game come. The Lakers signed Luol Deng who’s no slouch defensively either and he’s someone that Brandon Ingram can learn a lot from during the season.
Also, the motivation is there for Ingram as he’s already learned that he won’t be starting at the small forward position. However, he can be that spark off the bench, similar to what Andre Iguodala is to the Golden State Warriors. But it has to be a mental thing for Ingram if he wants to hone in on being a great defender. Defense is not about skill, it’s all about effort and attitude and if Brandon Ingram wants it, he has all the capability of being a prominent defender.