Lakers sign undrafted center Robert Upshaw; roster climbs to 18
On Monday, the Lakers signed undrafted free agent center Robert Upshaw to a two-year deal.
Upshaw, who is 21 years old and 7 feet tall, averaged 1.4 points and 2.2 rebounds a game with the Lakers’ summer league squad in Las Vegas, playing only 11.5 minutes a game.
Only $35,000 of Upshaw’s $525,093 is guaranteed for the 2015-16 season, according to a person with access to the NBA’s salary database. The second year of his contract, worth $874,636, is non-guaranteed.
Upshaw played college basketball at Washington and Fresno State, but he was ejected from both teams because of a number of off-the-court issues.
According to a team executive, Upshaw was up front about his many missteps when interviewing with the Lakers. The team gave the defensive prospect personal treatment goals in order to earn a spot in training camp.
Upshaw’s numbers at Washington through 19 games this last season suggest a significant upside -- averaging 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 blocks in 24.9 minutes -- provided he can show the team he has significantly matured.
The Lakers’ roster has grown to 18 players, with 12 fully guaranteed. The team is also considering adding up to two additional players, including veteran forward Metta World Peace.
Second-year players Tarik Black and Jabari Brown are both on non-guaranteed $845,059 minimum contracts.
Rookie forward Jonathan Holmes has $100,000 of his minimum salary ($525,093) guaranteed. Guard Michael Frazier has $50,000 locked in, while Marcelo Huertas has no salary protection, both on similar rookie minimum contracts. The details of Upshaw’s deal have not been released.
With a regular-season maximum of 15 players, the Lakers will eventually need to make a number of cuts. Training camp starts later this month.
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