LOS ANGELES- Brandon Ingram’s box score (five points on five shots with two rebounds and assists apiece) in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 102-100 loss to the Utah Jazz won’t jump off the page at anyone, but his play was enough to impress one of the best wing players in the NBA.
Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (31 points on 10-17 shooting to go with nine rebounds, three assists, and a block) frequently matched up with Ingram on Tuesday night, and he liked what he saw from the rookie.
"I think he's got a really good future in this league,” Hayward said. “He obviously has great length, great size at the position. I think it's something where he just needs some experience and everybody has to go through that. He's got a good looking shot and some good moves."
As a formerly skinny wing who has since bulked up in the way many hope Ingram eventually will as he ages, Hayward’s words should be music to the ears of Lakers fans. It’s not just Ingram he thinks is going to be good, either.
“They have a lot of talent on their team,” Hayward said of the Lakers. “A lot of guys that are capable of scoring points in bunches, and so they're very dangerous. When one of them gets going, it can be a long night for you. They're a good, young, talented team with a lot of good pieces.”
The Lakers may have lost, but hard-fought contests like this are going to turn heads around the league towards what they’re building in Los Angeles.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats per espn.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.