On Thursday, Brandon Ingram of Duke University worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers, as the team got a good, long, hard at the player most draft boards project as the no. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
The Lakers expect to choose Ingram if Ben Simmons gets his name called by the Philadelphia 76ers with the no. 1 pick, though the roles would be reversed if the Sixers opt to take Ingram with the no. 1 pick. However, most analysts think Ingram will land in LA, so Thursday provided a rare opportunity to hear directly from the 18-year-old North Carolina native.
Brandon Ingram, Ladies and Gentlemen. One or two people here to meet likely no. 2 pick in the 2016 draft. #lakers pic.twitter.com/RTgGsvL6s8 — Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) June 9, 2016
Though the actual workout was closed to the media, Ingram shared that he thought the workout went "great." He sounded confident when speaking about the shooting drills, and spoke about the one-on-one and two-on-two drills displaying his competitive spirit.
On the Lakers' draft sheet, Ingram was listed as 190 pounds, which makes his about as skinny as a toothpick considering his 6-foot 9-inch frame. Asked about how he is adjusting his diet over the summer, the consensus ACC Freshman of the Year responded, "Just eat everything I can. Of course, at my weight, think I can eat anything. I don't have a certain diet for myself. Just eat and stay in the weight room as much as possible."
D'Angelo Russell working in the gym in the background as Brandon Ingram talks to media. See him? #Lakers pic.twitter.com/t8gkmADxMr — Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) June 9, 2016
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Ingram added, "I think I came into Duke at 169 (pounds) and I left at 195 (pounds)."
Over the summer, he said he hoped to add about 10 to 15 pounds, though at 18 years young, Ingram's body still has a great deal of natural development to undergo. Consistently during the draft process, the lanky forward has heard comparisons to Kevin Durant due to his slight frame.
Beyond adding weight, Ingram mentioned his goal of performing in the NBA Summer League multiple times. If he was to be drafted by the Lakers, Ingram's involvement in the Summer League would likely send out a core of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D'Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and Ingram. Added to that, Ingram, Russell and Randle are all members of the USA Select Team training against the USA Mens' Olympic Basketball team in Las Vegas in July.
If all goes as expected, the Lakers' young core could have significant chemistry developed by the time the Lakers call in the final roster for training camp in early October.
In all, Ingram graciously fielded questions for about nine minutes and also shared that he would be working out for Philadelphia before the draft.
Asked about whether he wanted to go no. 1 or no. 2 in the NBA Draft, Ingram responded, "It doesn't matter at all. I want to go to the organization that wants me. I want to develop in this league as best as I can."