Despite still being one of the youngest players on the Los Angeles Lakers roster, a lot will be expected of Brandon Ingram next season.
The 21-year-old has made steady progress in his two years in the league but he’ll have to make a significant leap now that LeBron James has arrived.
The expectations for the Lakers will increase dramatically with a focus on winning and returning to the playoffs.
But Ingram is more than aware of the challenge that awaits him and he’s ready to embrace it.
The small forward has spent a considerable amount of time in the gym working on his game this summer and has enlisted the help of some notable names.
As well as working out with his mentor and two-time NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse, the youngster has teamed up with well-known NBA skills trainer Micah Lancaster.
In the past, Lancaster has worked with the likes of Kyrie Irving, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner and most recently Victor Oladipo.
Spending the previous summer training with Lancaster led to Oladipo’s incredible breakout season last year and the Lakers will certainly hope he has the same impact on Ingram.
In a recent interview on the Laker Film Room Podcast, Lancaster revealed how the former number two overall pick is focusing on developing his all-around game this offseason.
“What I like about Brandon is that he wants to improve every facet of his game,” he said, via Silver Screen and Roll
“I haven’t gotten the inkling that he’s trying to be role-focused. He really is trying to improve anything he can possibly improve …
“For him, it’s becoming a multi-faceted player that doesn’t have any weaknesses, and so that’s just really nice about Brandon.
“He wants to improve his ball-handling, he wants to improve his shooting, he wants to improve his finishing, he wants to be able to do everything.”
Being the Robin to LeBron’s Batman
The Lakers front office made a conscious effort to surround LeBron with versatile players in free agency and Ingram is clearly looking to fit into that bracket.
The Duke product is likely to be the number two option to James offensively and Lancaster is confident that he can handle the pressure of playing alongside the best player in the game.
“I think that he’s (Ingram) young enough right now to be able to mould into the experience of playing with LeBron, but I think with LeBron you have to be extremely patient, you kind of have to re-learn the game and how you have to adapt to his particular style,” he said.
“I think with Brandon’s skillsets, he has the ability now to be a spot-up shooter.
“He has the ability to get the ball in his hands and attack and find a bucket that way to take some pressure off of LeBron at times by being able to be a playmaker.”
Playing with James can be a difficult task for any player but Ingram seems determined to prove he has what it takes to excel next to him.
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