Watch: Dunk shows Brandon Ingram's rise since Lakers showed him love

Being the second pick of the NBA draft is a decent amount of pressure for a young player to develop into a franchise player.

For rookie Brandon Ingram of the Los Angeles Lakers, that pressure only amplified lately when it was learned his team was not willing to include him in trade discussions as All-Star DeMarcus Cousins was made available by the Sacramento Kings.

But since Magic Johnson has assumed control of the franchise, Ingram now solidly understands the team is committed to him being part of the long-term plan in L.A.

Since the NBA trade deadline passed on February 23, Ingram’s averages are way up, scoring 12.0 points per game, grabbing 4.6 rebounds and dishing out 2.7 assists.

Before the deadline, Ingram was getting 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

Many were surprised when Ingram was off the table in trade discussions, especially when a proven star like Cousins was on the table.

With the Lakers floundering to another finish near the bottom of the league standings, it was a given that the team could use a shot in the arm of talent that Cousins could provide.

At the very least, Boogie’s volatile personality could at least create some interesting headlines in Tinseltown.

Instead, Lakers fans will have to accept the slow burn of a rebuild around young talents like Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.

Fans have to keep in mind with Ingram that he’s 19 years old. But even after just one season at Duke, he’s already showing glimpses of stardom. Coach Luke Walton says he makes a special play about once a game.

On Thursday in a 122-110 victory at Phoenix, Ingram had a couple such plays.

In the first quarter, watch him shake Jared Dudley with the spin move and score over Alan Williams while drawing the foul.

Then, in the third quarter, Ingram passed up an open 3-pointer and instead drove to the lane, dunking all over Suns big man Alex Len.

Take a look at this slow-motion angle and see how high Ingram gets, and also how he discards Len as he blows by him.

The complaints and concerns about Ingram are obvious, his frame is too skinny and he needs to improve his shot. But those are facets of the game that pretty much every young player has to work on as they develop.

The Duke product has a chance to be a great player as the team continues to develop together.

He’s already showing how good he can be.

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