With likely rising stars D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and rookie Brandon Ingram, the Los Angeles Lakers are a team built for the future. Currently though, the Lakers are woefully young and the team will rely on the veteran expertise of Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov to provide knowledgeable advice to the youngsters when needed.
Ingram, however, is not even waiting for the start of training camp to soak up some veteran knowledge. While playing with the USA Select Team this summer, Ingram got advice from their counterparts on the USA Olympic team.
"Well, the NBA veterans that I've been around, they always try to help. Even guys from other teams," Ingram said during an appearance on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on Monday. "When I played with the USA Select Team, all those guys were giving me advice. Even guys playing pickup coming to the Lakers facility. (Including) Andre Iguodala."
Iguodala has apparently taken a special shine to Ingram as the Lakers rookie told Cowherd that the two occasionally text about how he can be a better defender. Defense is one area Ingram believes he can excel at and Iguodala has told him he has the potential to be special on that side of the ball.
"I watch a lot of his play defensively. He's a great defensive guy," Ingram told Cowherd about Iguodala. "I even text with him sometimes, and he just tells me it's going to be a process, but I have a chance to be special on the defensive end and offensive end. "He's long. He has a 7-foot-3 wingspan. He's smart. He gets his hands on a lot of deflections, and he just plays the right way."
Considering that Lakers coach Luke Walton was an assistant in Golden State, he can probably help give Ingram some pointers on how to be an excellent defender just like Iguodala. Ingram's offensive game has been compared to Kevin Durant, which is high praise, so if he is able to also bring it on the defensive end like Iguodala, his potential for greatness is quite high.
Iguodala is right, of course. It will be a process for Ingram to realize his full potential and it will take some time. How long it will take is up to Ingram, but if he is already reaching out and talking with veteran players, then he is already on the right path.