Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter have come into a great situation: Go to the NBA champions on a season when the team is looking to fill out the end of the roster with affordable guys to develop.
The Lakers signed West Virginia’s Devin Ebanks to a deal on Thursday. On Friday, Caracter will get his deal, according to Brian Kamenetzky ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Both of these will be for the rookie minimum and while both are non-guaranteed both guys are expected to make the Lakers roster. They’d have to screw up pretty bad not to, honestly. With them the Lakers have a 14-man roster, although that may be 13-man roster in practice because Luke Walton may miss most or all of the season due to his back issues.
Both Ebanks and Caracter impressed at Summer League in Las Vegas.
Ebanks is long and athletic with a lot of promise. Particularly as a defender, he showed flashes of that in Vegas. No NBA rookie is ever a really good defender yet — to many tricks of the trade to learn against the men at that NBA level — but Ebanks has potential. His offensive game needs some work.
Caracter looked like a guy that may get a few minutes if Lakers bigs get in foul trouble or on back-to-backs — kind of the Josh Powell role for LA, he showed that kind of potential already. He needs to get NBA strength and in NBA condition, but for three quarters one night he held his own against No. 5 pick DeMarcus Cousins. He has a big, strong body and can defend and rebound pretty well, and he’ll get some garbage buckets while he works on his offensive skills.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. However, those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and the team’s playoff chances have taken a serious hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers).
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and had said planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).