Prospect Profile: Brandon Ingram (Part Two)

PROJECTED DRAFT RANGE: It will be a surprise if Ingram doesn’t end up with the Sixers with the No. 1 pick or the Lakers with the No. 2 pick. Ingram and LSU freshman forward Ben Simmons seem like virtual locks to be the first two players off the board. The consensus around the league is that the Sixers will select Simmons, though they are playing it coy. Philadelphia is planning to work out Jaylen Brown, Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray and possibly a couple more candidates. ESPN Insider Chad Ford’s Big Board has Ingram in the second slot, while adding the Sixers could opt for fit over upside because of Ingram’s consistent 3-point shooting. DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony has ranked Ingram No. 1 since mid-March, staunch in the belief that he hasn’t come close to reaching his ceiling and pointing out that Ingram showed rapid improvement in his lone college season.

RISE/FALL: It would be difficult to see Ingram drop out of the top three, given his obvious physical skills and his production at Duke. It’s not out of the question that the Sixers or Lakers could fall in love with a darkhorse candidate and allow the Celtics to scoop up either Ingram or Simmons. A medical red flag could also cause him to slip down but, once again, that’s an unlikely scenario.

FIT: Ingram would fill a major hole for either the Sixers, Lakers or Celtics. The Sixers have an aching need for a top-notch wing player to complete a frontcourt filled with other high lottery picks. Ingram would be viewed as Kobe Bryant‘s heir apparent if he winds up with the Lakers while also providing the franchise with an intriguing young trio in Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. Ingram would give an outside threat to a Celtics team that ranked No. 28 in 3-point percentage. If he somehow slipped to the Suns at No. 4, he would fill their need for a dynamic small forward.

FINAL TAKE: Once Ingram fills out and goes under the supervision of an NBA strength coach, the concerns over his frame should ease. He quickly emerged as one of the top players in the ACC and it shouldn’t take long for Ingram to develop into a high-level small forward in the pros. He also made a strong impression with NBA executives in his interviews at the draft combine and his background reports say he’s a coachable player and a good teammate, according to Ford’s recent draft workout confidential. He’s not a guaranteed superstar but he should be an All-Star caliber player most of his career.

(For Part One of our Brandon Ingram Prospect Profile, click here.)

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