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Ingram careful about adding weight too fast like injured Simmons

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At 6-foot-9 and 190 pounds, there's been skepticism regarding whether Brandon Ingram can hang in the big leagues and endure the grind of the 82-game campaign.

He'd been consuming 5,000 calories daily ahead of June's draft, but after getting picked second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, he's been able to approach his weight gain more naturally and with more patience.

Ingram has gained five pounds over the summer, now weighing in at 195.

Meanwhile, the lone player drafted ahead of him, Ben Simmons, put on 33 pounds before suffering a foot injury during training camp, and is expected to miss three months.

It's believed the drastic weight gain was a factor in the Philadelphia 76ers forward picking up his ailment. Ingram had considered the potential of injuries that can accompany packing on pounds hastily, ultimately deciding to focus on adding strength.

"That's one of the reasons I tried to stop the little calorie thing that I had going on," Ingram told ESPN's Baxter Holmes on Saturday. "(It's) just knowing that it's going to be a process. (I'm) not trying to gain weight too fast, knowing that it's going to come over the years as my body matures."

Head coach Luke Walton also downplayed any urgency in his rookie upping his weight.

"I'm not nearly as concerned with his weight," he said. "I'm more just focused on how he's developing, how he's growing into the NBA game. He's a lot stronger than he appears."

Ingram said he already feels stronger and has been able to hold his own in the paint and against teammates, like Julius Randle, who's more than 50 pounds heavier than him.

That's not new to him.

"I grew up playing bigger guys all my life," the 19-year-old said. "Seeing bigger guys doesn't scare me at all. It just makes me want to battle and compete against those guys, bigger guys."

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