Los Angeles Lakers: 3 players who need to have the ball more

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

2. Brandon Ingram

The Lakers’ second-most talented scorer ranked third on the team in points (18.3) and field goal attempts (14.0) per game last season.

Brandon Ingram specializes in getting buckets from mid-range and at the rim. He’s also good at getting to the free throw line. He is not a prolific 3-point shooter like Kyle Kuzma (second on the team in scoring) or even LeBron (first), but that’s exactly why L.A. should get Ingram the ball more often. In an era when 3-pointers are being launched more than ever before, Ingram is a unique weapon. The issue, however, is consistency.

He has stretches when he looks dominant and deserving of every Kevin Durant comparison he had coming out of Duke. Then at times, he will fade into the background when the Lakers need him to produce.

Experience is one factor. Ingram is only 21 years old and has played three pro seasons on three lottery teams. More time will help, but also more touches could be key to unlocking Ingram’s potential.

His season-best effort of 36 points in one game happened when LeBron was out of the lineup. (Ingram didn’t even attempt a 3-pointer in that January loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.) Of the six times Ingram took 20 or more shots in a game, LeBron was out for five of them.

If he comes back next season fully recovered from blood-clot surgery — and like Ball, if he’s not traded — Ingram has the tools to become a great scorer for the Lakers. He’ll need more opportunities to make that happen, however.