With the start of Los Angeles Lakers’ training camp just a few days away, fans are getting more and more excited for the return of the team, and a chance to see how their promising young core has grown over the summer.
The player widely expected to take the biggest leap is D’Angelo Russell. The former second overall pick looks set to be given the keys to the Lakers’ offense, and the team’s most recent lottery pick has seen him in that role this summer. Brandon Ingram likes what he’s watched, and expects a big year from Russell.
"I think he will [have a breakout year]," Ingram told Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum Sportsnet. "He's a very good player, a very good point guard, and he can score the ball at will, so I think he's going to have a very good season this year."
Ingram himself won’t be starting for the Lakers when the team begins the season (barring an injury), but that doesn’t mean it’s not "absolutely" a part of his plan to get there before the end of the season.
"You always want to start, being a starter all your life," said Ingram. "But it's the coaches decision. I'll work my way into the starting role and just keep working hard, and do whatever the coach wants me to do."
Ingram told Bresnahan that summer reps in the gym have helped him adjust to the further NBA three-point line, a crucial development if he wants to reach his full potential. Arguably more important for the Lakers, however, is Ingram coming into his own on the other end of the floor.
Ingram says he’s gotten some help in that department from new Lakers training camp addition, Metta World Peace, whom he’s been working out with for the last few weeks.
"He's talked to me a lot about just using my length and how good I can be defensively at moving my feet," Ingram said. "He's just giving me pointers every single day."
Ingram’s NBA education will begin anew when the Lakers head to Santa Barbara for camp next week, and the teenager sounds as prepared as can be reasonably expected for his first year in the league to begin.
All quotes transcribed via Time Warner Cable Sportsnet. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.