Brandon Ingram was drafted second by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2016 NBA Draft, but has played his last three seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 2016 draft class turned out to be a pretty good one, with several star players, All-NBA selections and All-Stars in the mix.
You have guys like Jamal Murray and Buddy Hield, who have made their impact felt, though Murray had to miss all of last season with injury.
You have Domantas Sabonis and guards Dejounte Murray, Malcolm Brogdon and Fred VanVleet, who would all be drafted much higher if teams could do it again.
At the top at the draft you had Ben Simmons, who has arguably put up the best stats of any guy from the 2016 NBA Draft, but he has missed two full seasons with various physical and mental problems, so I am not considering him for best player from his class, at least not yet.
Simmons and Zion Williamson will both be making their comebacks next season and it will be interesting to see which former #1 will bounce back strongest.
Simmons could get there eventually, but right now, the crown of best player from the 2016 draft would have to go to one of three dynamic forwards, and you could make an argument for any of them.
Pelicans: Brandon Ingram and the 2016 NBA Draft
You can definitely make an argument for Brandon Ingram as the best player from his draft class, but the same argument can be made for both Pascal Siakam and Jaylen Brown.
Here is how the three players stack up so far in their careers:
- Brandon Ingram: 18.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game
- Pascal Siakam: 15.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game
- Jaylen Brown: 16.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game
Ingram has been the superior scorer and playmaker in his career so far, though Siakam has been a slightly better rebounder of the three.
Both Siakam and especially Brown are better defensive players at this point in their careers, and both have had much more team success, as Siakam has already won a ring and Brown has been a part of deep playoff runs, including a trip to last year’s Finals. Ingram has yet to make it out of the first round for the Pelicans, but hopes to do so next season and for many after that.
Siakam and Brown have played their entire careers with one team, which I do think is an advantage and something that was completely out of Ingram’s control.
You can make an argument for any of these three players, and it is so close right now that we’ll have to wait until more of their careers play out to really know who will end up as the best player from a very talented 2016 draft class.