With the 43rd pick, their highest in this year’s draft, the Lakers selected Devin Ebanks, a 6’8” sophomore forward from West Virginia.
Although Ebanks has very good athleticism, he did not live up to expectations this past season. He was suspended the first three games of the year for undisclosed reasons, perhaps academic problems. In December, he hurt his hand fighting with a teammate. So, the kid has some issues both on and off the court.
He is a versatile defender with a seven-foot wing span. He has been guarding point guards and the best opposing players while at West Virginia. He can hit the mid-range shot but has trouble getting his own shots. He was 3-for-26 from beyond the arc this season.
He can put the ball on the floor and attack off the dribble. He is more of a motion offense player who can move without the ball. He is primarily a defender and a rebounder, not a shooter.
His energy level has been up and down. That should fit in pretty well with the turn-it-on and turn-it-off Lakers, especially with an inconsistent bench.
With their 58th pick, the Lakers selected Derrick Caracter, a 6’9” center/power forward from UTEP.
Louisville had great expectations for Caracter coming out of high school. The Cardinals were very high on him. Like Ebanks, he did not live up to those expectations and, after two tumultuous years, Caracter transferred to UTEP.
There, he managed to transform himself. He has good footwork but still needs to refine his game before he can be NBA ready. He has good hands, good finishing ability and a pretty good feel for playing in the low post. He doesn’t pass too well and turns it over a little too much in the post. That is something he definitely needs to work on.
But he is a very good rebounder, especially on the offensive boards and has the bulk that Ebanks lacks. Caracter is listed at 265 pounds while Ebanks is just 205 pounds. The fact that he did not fill out very much during his time at West Virginia was another disappointment for Ebanks.
Overall, I would say that Caracter, given his determination to transform himself when he transferred to UTEP, has a better chance of finding a spot in the NBA. If not with the Lakers, then somewhere.