Throughout the NBA Draft process, one name that was linked to the Lakers with either their 27th or 34th picks was Washington center Robert Upshaw. Arguably the best rim protector in the country, Upshaw fell out of the draft due to character concerns as well as a heart issue that was flagged at the NBA Draft Combine.
Despite that, the Lakers will bring in Upshaw, along with Arizona’s Brandon Ashley, to play on the Lakers’ summer league team according to Real GM’s Shams Charania:
Lakers reached summer league commitments with undrafted bigs, Washington's Robert Upshaw and Arizona's Brandon Ashley, source tells RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2015
This is a no-risk move for the Lakers as Upshaw can be let go with no penalty should he not pan out during the summer, but the potential is high. Upshaw averaged 4.5 blocks in only 24.9 minutes for the Huskies last year. The team still has a hole at center after taking D’Angelo Russell second overall, so the opportunity is there for Upshaw.
He was kicked off of Washington, however, because of suspected drug related issues and was kicked off of Fresno State the previous year for the same thing. These issues turned Upshaw from a potential lottery pick to undrafted.
Both Upshaw and Ashley will have a great chance to make an impact on what should be a stacked Lakers Summer League team in Las Vegas. Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, and Jabari Brown are all expected to take part as well as Russell and the team’s other two draft picks.[divide]