Welcome to the twenty-third edition of “Who to Rep,” our ongoing series in which we recommend a player to rep for the upcoming week. Our selection process is rigorously unscientific, but we hope you like it anyway.
After a big trade with Cleveland, the LA Lakers find themselves a bit more talent poor in the short term. Their hope is that the exits of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. will ultimately clear the cap space needed to bring in bigger, better stars this summer or next, but in the meantime LA’s not losing sleep anyway, because they’ve still got Brandon Ingram.
Ingram, a second year player making a big leap, has already been the team’s leading scorer all season long, but he’s been especially great over the last four games (during which the Lakeshow went 3-1, including two wins over the star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder). Over that stretch, he’s putting up 20.8 points per game on insanely efficient 62% shooting. Even better, he’s canned an unsustainable 79% of his three pointers over the same span.
While his floor game has been just ok (3 rebounds and just under 5 assists per game), when he’s scoring that much that easily, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on opposing defenses and opens things up for the rest of the Lakers’ young playmakers. More impressively, he rang up half of those stats against Paul George, one of the league’s most elite perimeter defenders.
One of the marks a true franchise superstar is to put up numbers against All Defensive level competition, so it’s got to be encouraging for the Lakers and their fans to see Ingram showing flashes of that capability so early in his career. He sometimes fades into the narrative background behind louder names like Lonzo, Magic, and Shrodinger’s Lebron, but Ingram is still LA’s best young prospect and best current player.
And he’s still improving. With the roster in the middle of a readjustment phase after the big trade, and Lonzo still out due to injury, there’s really only one Laker worth repping right now; luckily, he’s a bona fide scoring savant and the future of the franchise. Show Brandon Ingram some love this week.