Halftime NBA Draft Preview: Brandon Ingram Scouting Report

June 1, 2016

Ingram in the McDonald's All American Game Credit:https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39492018

Welcome to Halftime’s preview of the 2016 NBA Draft, where our writers will be analyzing the players and teams that will headline this summer’s selection process. 

Strengths: Limbs. Long ones. Ingram is a lanky 6’10” scoring machine with a 7’3” wingspan that allows him to get great height on his shot release, as well as to be disruptive in passing lanes on the defensive end. The Kinston, N.C. native has the shooting touch, quickness, and sheer athleticism that could allow him to dominate on the next level. In his lone season at Duke, Ingram made 41% of his threes and hit 42% of catch-and-shoot jumpers, producing 1.247 Points Per Possession (PPP) in those situations, good for third in this year’s draft class behind Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray. Ingram also showed strong offensive versatility, operating as a primary ball handler and shot-creator, wing spot-up threat, and even in the high to mid post when matched up against smaller defenders.  

Weaknesses: Perhaps Ingram’s biggest weakness is, well, his physical strength. Ingram was listed at a lightweight 193 pounds for his 6’10” frame, and that weight may have been a tad generous. The good news for the team that drafts Ingram is that he is one of the youngest players in the draft, only turning 19 in September, which gives him plenty of time to fill out his body over the next few years. It’s unlikely that he will ever have Lebron James’ physique, but he will gain functional strength as he devotes more time to developing his body. Ingram can also improve his shooting off-the-dribble, as he shot only 30% on 80 attempts this season, and somewhat surprisingly only converted 68% of his foul shots. However, these are attributes that are likely to improve once Ingram enters an NBA-style conditioning regimen.

Ingram’s Ball Handling Skills are a Major Strength
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Best Landing Spot: Adaptability doesn’t seem to be an issue for Ingram. Ideally, he would play for a team that could utilize aspects of his immediately transferrable skillset, such as his shooting, and would possess veteran leadership to guide him through such a big transition. Remember, he was still in high school just a year ago. Ingram projects as a 3-man at the next level who can be a primary ball-handler, so a coach who can put him in those situations at the outset will be key.

Probable Landing Spot: At the moment, Ingram is a surefire top-two pick, with some analysts predicting that the Philadelphia 76ers will select him first overall. I believe that Ingram will go number two to the Los Angeles Lakers, as the 76ers will ultimately take Ben Simmons over him. The Lakers currently don’t have a dearth of options at small forward with the retirement of Kobe Bryant, though that is possible to change in free agency. Regardless, Ingram will start from day one in the Purple and Gold.

NBA Comparison: Who’s another ridiculously skinny 6’10” small forward who can score at will from anywhere on the court? Kevin Durant, of course! Ingram has many similarities to the former Texas phenom and current Oklahoma City Thunder star, including a natural scoring prowess, incredible ball-handling skills for his size, and a high basketball IQ. Durant was a better all-around player as a freshman than Ingram, averaging 25.8 ppg and 11.1 rpg in his lone college season, but Ingram has the potential to evolve into much of the same player that Durant is today.

Santul Nerkar
Santul is the Voice's former executive culture editor and Halftime Sports editor. Follow him on Twitter @SantulN to become one of his rare few followers.

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