MY OPINION AS TO WHOSE NAME THE LAKERS SHOULD CALL ON THURSDAY
All right, now that the NBA Finals are in the books; I’ve always felt that the pro basketball season is way too long,
And as the city of Cleveland – all of northeast Ohio, really – remains ecstatic over the area’s first sports title in 52 years,
I thought that like I did with the Rams, I’d offer my view on who the Lakers, whose spectacular ineptitude was rewarded in the lottery draw with the second overall pick, should take when the NBA Draft commences in roughly 36 hours…
As every hoops fan knows by now, it will come down to two one-and-done players.
In one corner:
Photo courtesy of businessinsider.com
BEN SIMMONS, LSU
Home: Melbourne, Australia
Height: 6′ 10″
Field Goal %: 56
Free Throw %: 67
Points Per Game: 19.2
Rebounds Per Game: 11.8
There’s no doubt that this Aussie is a beast, averaging a double-double for the Tigers.
Indeed, Simmons did everything in Baton Rouge except for one very important thing:
Or even make the post-season as LSU, in getting blown out by Texas A & M in the SEC Tournament, failed to get their name called on Selection Sunday.
Simmons collected all the individual awards, including Consensus 1st team All-America, First Team All-SEC and SEC Freshman of the Year,
But the fact that his team achieved nothing despite his exploits raises a a few doubts.
The fact that some NBA pundits have questioned his character and behavior hasn’t helped, either.
And in the other corner…
Photo courtesy of phillymag.com
BRANDON INGRAM, DUKE
Home: Kinston, North Carolina
Height: 6′ 9″
Position: Small Forward
Field Goal %: 44
Free Throw %: 68
Points Per Game: 17.3
Rebounds Per Game: 6.8
If you compare them strictly based on statistics, although Ingram’s numbers were not exactly anemic, Simmons has the edge.
However, unlike the now-ex-LSU standout, Ingram’s team not only made the postseason while winning 25 games, they reached the Sweet Sixteen.
And Ingram had the privilege of having one of basketball’s all-time coaching icons, Mike Krzyzewski, as a mentor.
Plus he earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
And has, at least to the best of my knowledge, no character or behavior issues as Krzyzewski has long been known to not stand for that.
Experts have only commented on Ingram’s need to gain muscle, which will enable him to survive the rigors of the NBA and which he will undoubtedly commence to doing this summer.
That’s why my official recommendation to the Lakers is that they should call this name as the second overall pick on Thursday evening…
At least if the Philadelphia 76ers, who have the top pick, don’t call his name first as if that happens, the Lakers should go ahead and choose Simmons.
Otherwise, Ingram should the newest Laker.
He’s a guy who I think will fit in better with what new coach Luke Walton (former Lakers player and son of NBA Hall of Famer and UCLA legend Bill) will try to do, which is to get that flagship franchise out of their three-year pathetic state and back to respectability.
As continuing what I think their approach should be…
Rebuild, not reload.
A group of young Lakers, who along with either Simmons or Ingram (hopefully Ingram) will be count