Brandon Ingram is expected to make his return with the Los Angeles Lakers after a four-game suspension he received after attacking Chris Paul in a game against the Houston Rockets.
In a recent interview, he spoke about his role with the team and he definitely expects to be inserted into the starting role.
Per Bill Oram of The Athletic Ingram said “I’m not coming off the bench. I don’t know the lineup, but I know I’ll be in it”.
During his and Rondo’s absence, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma stepped in and provided some solid minutes for the Lakers which lead to fans questioning if the team would actually perform better if Ball and Kuzma played more minutes.
From the past four games, it was clear Kuzma and LeBron function really well on the court together and there are even some stats that back those back those statements. When LeBron and Kuzma play together they have a 0.6 net rating while on the other hand Ingram and James collectively have a minus 3.8 net rating.
Ingram is without a doubt one of the most promising young forwards in the league and this is the main reason why Magic Johnson said numerous times how he wouldn’t trade Ingram in any kind of trade deal. At the age of 21, there is a lot of room for development for Ingram and Magic clearly sees the potential in the young forward.
If the Los Angeles Lakers want to develop Ingram’s game but also build chemistry between him and LeBron, they will need to insert Ingram back to the starting lineup and use Kuzma as a backup option for either James or Ingram in that case.
This will provide consistency to the team but also enough playing time for both Kuzma and Ingram who have shown potential that they could produce 20+ points each game for the team in purple and gold.