Though the Lakers and Robert Upshaw have envisioned a future together through the next two years, Upshaw and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak will meet on Thursday in Las Vegas in what could provide more clarity on their partnership, according to a league source familiar with the situation.
The Lakers and Upshaw agreed to a general framework of a deal last weekend, a two-year deal at the veteran’s minimum that includes a partial guarantee next season and a non-guaranteed terms in the 2016-17 campaign. But the deal has not been finalized. It’s unclear what exactly will be discussed in Thursday’s meeting, but it’s believed to be part of the Lakers performing their due diligence.
Upshaw was also projected as a lottery pick for averaging 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 blocks in 19 games with the University of Washington last season. But Upshaw went undrafted after Fresno State and University of Washington both kicked him off their teams for undisclosed violations of team rules. Through three summer league games with the Lakers, Upshaw has averaged 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 13.7 minutes off the bench.
Assuming the Lakers’ contract with Upshaw becomes finalized, he would stay on the team’s training camp roster and give the Lakers more time to evaluate where he fits into their plans. The Lakers currently have two centers, including All-Star Roy Hibbert and backup Robert Sacre. Tarik Black has also played at center, but coach Byron Scott views him as more of a power forward.