The Lakers reportedly planned to sign 1-3 more players.
he Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Robert Upshaw to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Upshaw is an impressive rim-protector who probably would have been a first-round pick if not for off-court issues. He was reportedly dismissed from both Washington and Fresno State for failing multiple drug tests while with each team.
The 7-footer is the type of player a team like the Lakers should take a flyer on. His deal probably includes a small guarantee the first season and is unguaranteed for future years. That way, the Lakers get great value if Upshaw pans out and face little cost if he doesn’t.
Upshaw will presumably compete with Jonathan Holmes ($100,000 guaranteed), Michael Frazier ($50,000 guaranteed), Tarik Black (unguaranteed), Jabari Brown (unguaranteed) and Marcelo Huertas (unguaranteed) for the final three regular-season roster spots behind the 12 Lakers with fully guaranteed salaries. Metta World Peace could also join that race.
The Lakers might favor waiving Upshaw and assigning his D-League rights to their affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders. That’d keep him from an NBA salary, NBA pressure and everything that comes with those. But it will also leave Upshaw free to sign with any NBA team.
Like every other Laker, Upshaw will have a chance to prove himself in training camp.