(Note: This article originally appeared on Seventeenrings.wordpress.com)
The Sixers should pass on the freshman sensation from Duke, but he will end up being one heck of a consolation prize for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Patrick Causey, on Twitter @pcausey3
12 months ago, the notion that Brandon Ingram could be the top pick in the NBA draft seemed as far fetched as Donald Trump securing the Republican nomination. But Ingram has rocketed up draft boards after an impressive run on the AAU circuit and downright sensational freshman season at Duke.
The Kinston, North Carolina native is everything that the modern NBA embodies: length, athleticism, and the ability to shoot from deep. Add in humility and a work ethic that parallels some of the best in the game, and it's easy to see why some draft experts prefer Ingram over Ben Simmons, the prohibitive favorite to go number one overall.
But I just don't see the elite athleticism from Ingram to believe that he will ever be a top 5 player in the league, which is why I have him ranked behind Ben Simmons as the second best player in this draft (although Providence's Kris Dunn is not far behind).
It is also why I think the comparisons to Kevin Durant -- while understandable given the similarities in their physical profile and game -- are wholly unfair. Even his most ardent supporters acknowledge that Ingram is essentially a poor man's Durant, which is impressive in its own right but likely to disappoint anyone that is expecting Ingram to live up to Durant's lofty status.