Skip to main content

What Kind of Player Will Brandon Ingram Become?

Forget the naysayers, Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver both agree that Brandon Ingram still has room to grow. Here's why.

In the latest open floor podcast, Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver took a look at Brandon Ingram's ceiling and his growing mean streak. Can Ingram evolve into an all-star? 

(The following transcript has been edited for clarity.)

Andrew Sharp: How could you not watch Brandon Ingram against the Wizards and not see him becoming a star at some point? 

Ben Golliver: Well I'm not sure if I would put it like that from one game where he is finally hitting his mid-range jumpers and shooting confidently. But it did seem like his confidence was there in a way against Washington that it hasn't been consistently during his career. He was really pulling up and really going for it. Going for that lefty pull-up he likes from the mid-range. I think it says something about Washington honestly. The Lakers were not afraid of the Wizards. I really hate to break it to you. There was no fear factor. Didn't matter if John Wall was on him or Otto Porter, he was going for the throat. 

Sharp: I have been a big believer in Ingram for the last few years and it's not even about him making his shots against the Wizards. I felt this watching him even against the Clippers which was a rough night for him. But I think just watching him move, he got so much length that it's hard to imagine a version of his career where he doesn't sort of grow into a problem for teams. He's not going to be Giannis and I'm not trying to put him in that category. So far this season our podcast has decided that Giannis is going to be the greatest player of all-time (laughs). 

Golliver: He is our future overlord.

Sharp: I'm not saying Ingram is going to be that level of superstar but like he does some things and has that tools that will make life difficult for any team trying to deal with him. Watching him now reminds me a lot of early Giannis except that he's saddled with all these expectations. If you go back to the second year of Giannis's career, every time he did something impressive it was treated as a nice little bonus. Everyone in Milwaukee was like 'hey the future is bright we don't know what we have here but it is something.' Where as with Ingram after the Washington game Luke Walton came out and compared him to Kobe and there were Lakers writers reporting that he will be the closer now. There is also the secondary story with the Lakers and Ingram and how he better do this every night or we're trading him to clear space for LeBron's supporting cast. It just an insane situation to be in but just talent wise he's got a lot working in his favor and he is still really young. 

Golliver: I understand why he bothers people because there is a fine line between like smooth and just passive. He is walking back and forth between that line a lot. There are times where he will go invisible.

Sharp: That is a good point. That ultimately will probably set him apart from Giannis. Where Giannis in a year two or three you can see that he had a real mean streak to him and will go for the kill sometimes and that is the one thing you can't project with Ingram.

Golliver: I don't necessarily like this comparison to Giannis, I think the one people have made with KD is a little similar vain because KD is not going to be that lead ball-handler for your offense like Giannis is just as Ingram isn't either so there is always going be a certain reliance upon others to get him involved and to keep him involved and to me, I am not sure Ingram has KD ceiling. I'm sure he doesn't. I should put it that way. He is the passiveness that people sort of read on to him, it is just in part of his personality. He is quiet and very soft-spoken. I interviewed him in Las Vegas this summer and it was hard to hear what he was saying sometimes. I think the silent ones are the ones you need to worry about right? The silent killers. And I think he has some of that in him and wants the ball late. He's still working on it but the people who are trying to write these guys off this early is silly. They are going to be the ones that delete their tweets in two years. 

Sharp: I am not going to sell any Brandon Ingram stock that is all I will say. 

Golliver: I think that draft was pretty solid at the top between the one and two pick. I still think Simmons has a higher ceiling as an overall one man offense, I think he is going to be better player still than Ingram but I always thought Ingram was going to be really good.

Sharp: I don't think Ingram is a guy that you can build your team around. He's not going to be a franchise guy but I think he is an all-star that can fit with any team in the NBA. I think that is where he will be in year five or six and that is still pretty early.

To hear more from Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver, subscribe to the Open Floor podcast on iTunes.