(Photo via sbnation.com)
While it’s no secret that Ben Simmons has been dominating at LSU and is likely to become the number-one overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, Duke freshman Brandon Ingram has done a darn good job of staying hidden from the public eye. Many people have seemed to forget about the 18-year old Blue Devil who has also created a lot of BUZZ in draft discussions. At 6’9 with a 7’3 wingspan, this kid possesses great shooting ability and has been a mismatch all year for defenders. He is averaging 16.9 ppg and shooting 47.4% from the field. While it’s his impressive spot-up shooting ability that sets him apart, he can also dribble into the paint and use his agility and body control to finish at the rim.
We are more than 4 months away from the NBA Draft, but some are already creating their mock drafts, and the consensus up until this point has been that Simmons is going 1st. Because of this, other impressive prospects are being overshadowed and Brandon Ingram is certainly in that category. He has real NBA potential and has surely become a fantastic 2nd option in the upcoming draft.
Many are already believing that he has the tools to be a big time scorer in the NBA. With his long, skinny frame, he begins to remind a lot of people of 7-time all-star Kevin Durant. And in fact, after taking a closer look at both their games, they actually do look alike. Both have a very quick first step, can penetrate through the defense, and use an array of moves to create leverage when shooting. At only 18 and a lot of room to grow, his skill-set screams huge potential and upside at the next level. The only concern that some scouts have on him is his thin frame, as was true with KD in college, but it should not be hard for Ingram to build muscle over the course of the next few years.
Both Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons provide many teams with an incentive to tank this season. While I am not a fan of tanking in the NBA, but there is no denying the sheer talent that these two freshman possess. Like last year’s draft, the top few picks taken this year will provide teams with a real chance of finding their franchise centerpiece. It will surely be interesting to see how the draft talk plays out as we get closer to draft night in June. Although he still needs some fine tuning in his defensive game, that should not scare any teams away from taking him either 1 or 2 overall. I think it’s time that Ingram gets his fair share of draft praise just like his skill suggests.
– J. Yellin