Kevin Durant has undoubtedly been one of the NBA’s best players ever since he stepped upon the hardwood. After being selected second overall by the Seattle Supersonics, it was clear the Portland Trail Blazers had made a detrimental mistake.
Much like the former Longhorn, Brandon Ingram was selected second overall. However, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who made the selection, and due to his lengthy wingspan, thin frame, and similar play style, analysts had instantaneously begun drawing direct comparisons to Kevin Durant.
Nonetheless, it was clear by the start of the prior NBA season that Brandon Ingram was nowhere near the player Durant was in his rookie season. Due to the lack of strength in Ingram’s body, his physicality around the rim was nearly non-existent, which would ultimately escalate into his three-point shot becoming less effective and efficient.
However, Brandon Ingram did show life as a potential ‘lock-down’ defender and as a secondary ball handler – much like Durant. He has shown to possess all the right tools to be successful in the league, but still, needs to continue working on his physicality and all-around game.
It’s not much but you can definitely tell Brandon Ingram has been in the weight room. pic.twitter.com/wxICqgKbGe
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 28, 2017
In the only Summer League game Ingram participated in, he had fans raving about the great improvements added to his offensive game, specifically his strength around the paint. With Brandon Ingram reportedly growing another two-inches, it has only reignited the Durant comparisons.
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) September 12, 2017
Ingram will likely never become the generational talent that Kevin Durant was, which isn’t a terrible thing. It’s unfair to hold a 20-year-old prospect accountable of becoming a player of Durant’s caliber. Despite the unlikeliness of becoming a Kevin Durantesque player, Ingram has undoubtedly shown an ability to improve over time.
His ball-handling ability can eventually become valuable for the Lakers as opposing teams would be forced to defend pick-and-rolls from an array of positions. Ingram has also shown potential as a versatile defensive player who can switch onto multiple positions. And because defensive versatility has shown to be one of the most valuable assets a player can bring to his team, it only elevates the ceiling for Brandon Ingram.
Brandon Ingram been working this summer! pic.twitter.com/rl6Ufwe8Zv
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) October 1, 2017
With the plethora of God-given gifts Ingram possesses, it seems as if he was created inside of a laboratory. It’s only a matter of time before he can fill out his final weight to ultimately transform into a perennial All-Star and one of the league’s most versatile players.
With the spotlight shining directly towards Lonzo Ball, it leaves Brandon Ingram to continue to evolve his all-around ability as a two-way threat and become a key contributor to bring ‘Showtime’ back to Los Angeles.