Brandon Ingram has the potential to be a franchise linchpin for the Los Angeles Lakers, the type of player the team can build around for years to come. It’s not just analysts saying this either: the NBA’s annual poll of rookies was released on Tuesday, and Ingram received the most votes from his fellow 2016 NBA Draft picks as the player who “will have the best career.”
Ingram received 26.7 percent of the votes for the honor, with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kris Dunn coming in second with 16.7 percent, and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Buddy Hield rounding out the top-three with 13.3 percent. First overall pick Ben Simmons tied for fourth with Dragan Bender, Jaylen Brown, and Jamal Murray, with each receiving 6.7 percent of votes
The rookies apparently love them some Ingram, and that wasn’t the only award Ingram placed highly for. Ingram received the second-most votes to win Rookie of the Year with 25.8 percent, just behind Dunn’s 29 percent, and ahead of Simmons’ 19.4 percent. Ingram additionally received votes as the “best shooter,” “best defender,” “best playmaker,” and for “which rookie is the funniest?” (fellow Lakers rookie Ivica Zubac finished in a tie for fourth in this final award, with 6.1 percent of the vote).
It’s interesting to see how much respect the 2016 draftees have for Ingram’s game, especially as compared to Simmons (the only player selected ahead of Ingram), who didn’t place as highly in several of these votes. The Lakers and their fans certainly hope these players are right about Ingram, who the players love so much that he also won the vote as the rookies’ favorite player in the league with 29.7 percent of the vo— oh, never mind, that was Kevin Durant. So easy to mix those two up.