The Lakers used the first of their two second-round picks to select Devin Ebanks, a sophomore forward from West Virginia. He’s 6-foot-9 and weighs 215. He’s a strong defender and rebounder. ESPN’s Jay Bilas called him a “non-shooter,” which is not exactly a ringing endorsement of his offensive skills. Ebanks averaged 12 points on 45.7 percent shooting plus a team-leading 8.1 rebounds last season. He helped lead the Mountaineers to the Final Four for the first time since 1951. He was third team All-Big East. He also made the Big East All-Rookie team as a freshman.
Then the Lakers picked forward Derrick Caracter, a junior from UTEP, with the 58th pick. Caracter played two seasons at Louisville before transferring to UTEP. He averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in 27 games last season for the Miners. He shot 56.7 percent, good for 16th-best in the country in 2009-10 and second-best in Conference USA.
GM Mitch Kupchak said both players would play for the Lakers’ summer league team next month in Las Vegas. If they perform well in Las Vegas, they will be invited to training camp. If they do well there, they could make the team. Salary cap and luxury tax concerns might make it easier for each player to win a spot on the roster since their salaries would be considerably less than a free agent’s. The Lakers’ payroll of $91.4 million was the highest in the NBA last season.