The Los Angeles Lakers' choice of Duke forward Brandon Ingram with the second overall pick was not exactly shocking. Following the pick, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak made it pretty clear that the choice was as unsurprising for the front office as it was for those following the team.
Ingram's selection wasn't a pleasant surprise, but it was pleasant, and Kupchak's glowing review of his team's selection made it evident why the Lakers' preference for Ingram was such a poorly kept secret.
"Despite the fact we're losing an icon we've had for 20 years, this is a new era going forward," said Kupchak. However, despite such high praise, Kupchak also says he knows his new rookie has a lot of work to do to reach his full potential. A big part of that will involve adding weight to his lithe frame:
Mitch Kupchak on what impressed the Lakers about Brandon Ingram in his workout: "His skill level, his length, his athleticism..."— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 24, 2016
Mitch admitted that "Brandon needs to work and get stronger."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 24, 2016
Kupchak is willing to personally help Ingram get some fuel when he gets to Los Angeles and begins his quest to bulk up:
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak just congratulated Brandon Ingram on the phone. Said he'd buy Ingram a steak dinner at Fleming's.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 24, 2016
Kupchak also confirmed that befitting a prospect he's so high on, there was a lot of interest in trading for the pick the team used to acquire Ingram. The Lakers ignored it though, because no one offered enough:
Mitch on why he didn't trade No. 2 pick: "There wasn't anything that peaked our interest."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 24, 2016
Peaking their interest sounds like it would have required a huge offer, because Kupchak believes Ingram's potential is limitless:
Mitch Kupchak on Brandon Ingram: "We think with the upside and potential in him -- right now there is no ceiling on him."— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 24, 2016
Ingram's upside and potential adds even more of those two qualities to a young Lakers core already brimming with them. If he fits as seamlessly alongside his new teammates as most predict, then there is no ceiling on the Lakers' future, either.
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