Lakers: Better Rookie Season, D’Angelo Russell or Brandon Ingram?

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Timothy Jenkin, Staff Writer

The easy answer to this question is Brandon Ingram.

Ingram’s rookie campaign will have a few decisive advantages over Russell’s from last year including but not limited to the fact that Ingram comes to the Lakers with a more polished and NBA-ready game. His ability to score and defend will fit right in on a Lakers team that was sorely lacking in those areas last year. Last season, Ingram averaged 17 points and six rebounds a game at Duke and there’s no reason to believe that he’ll have a season too much worse than that.

Another key factor is the head coaching situation. Last year, Russell played for a coach who never really believed in him and never gave him the opportunity to learn, grow and make mistakes. As a result, Russell didn’t get a consistent rotation spot until the last 20 games or so of the season.

Ingram on the other hand, gets the opportunity to play for a coach who is practically the exact opposite. Luke Walton is a player’s coach. He is a coach that believes in a fun atmosphere, letting players develop, and the three point shot (thank goodness). This means Ingram will get consistent chances to learn and develop under Walton and his new system.

The last major advantage Ingram’s rookie season will have over D’Angelo Russell’s is the amount of pressure Ingram will face coming into the season, which is none. Despite the fact that he’s been consistently compared to Kevin Durant, Ingram faces virtually no pressure this upcoming year. He will have the chance to just be a rookie, which is the greatest thing he could ask for.

Next: Why Brandon Ingram Could Win ROTY Honors

Unlike D’Angelo, who had to prove himself to critics who preferred the Lakers take Jahlil Okafor in 2015. Overall, I believe the better rookie season will belong to Ingram.