BY ADVITH SARIKONDA FOR LAKE SHOW LIFE
Examining why the blatant disrespect toward Lakers’ point guard,D’Angelo Russell needs to be addressed
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Duke small forward Brandon Ingramwith the second overall pick, a major step in the right direction for a team coming off of the worst season in franchise history.
Rightfully so, Ingram’s selection engendered much buzz, and discussions regarding the future of the franchise were initiated thanks to the selection of a player whose game many have compared to that of Kevin Durant.
The talking points appeared to be valid. Should the Lakers build around Ingram? Can he become a viable part of the Lakers’ young core? But the discussions soon took a turn for the worse, however, when point guard D’Angelo Russell’s name was brought up.
Immediately, television personalities Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose brought up how the Lakers needed to trade Russell, citing his lack of maturity following his embarrassing video scandal involving small forward Nick Young back in March.
Former player Jay Williams even suggested that the Lakers draft Providence point guard, Kris Dunn instead of Ingram as a means to trade Russell prior to the draft.
On the other end of the spectrum, Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke, who actually supported the team’s decision to draft Ingram, still managed to lambaste Russell in a piece for the LA Times.
The celebratory mood was in contrast to the defensiveness that permeated the organization last June when the Lakers shrugged off the natural No. 2 pick of Jahlil Okafor and instead reached for D’Angelo Russell.
In some ways, they’re still reaching for Russell, trying to connect with him, and this pick of Ingram may lead them to eventually trade him for a stabilizing veteran if they feel a core of Ingram, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle is their future.