Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Robert Upshaw (12) reacts after a call during an NBA Summer League game against Minnesota at Thomas & Mack Center. Minnesota won the game 81-68. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Many expected the Lakers to grab Robert Upshaw with one of their two later picks, but instead the Lakers were lucky enough to draft two solid players at the 27th and 34th spots, and still end up with the seven footer by signing him as an un-drafted free agent.
Because of second year player Tarik Black, we did not get to see as much of Upshaw as we hoped to in the Las Vegas Summer League, but we got an idea of what his game is about, and the type of player he can become.
A great early comparison for Upshaw’s game would be his new teammate Roy Hibbert. Like Upshaw, Hibbert came into the league with great size and potential, but had a very raw skill set that would take years to develop. Hibbert looked a bit uncomfortable and slow during his first few seasons, much like Upshaw in the summer league. Big men must stay patient and continue to work on their games, and those who do, usually grow to become dominant forces in the paint.
From Blake Griffin, to Marc Gasol, and even Roy Hibbert, most big men need to improve in so many areas to make it to the elite category, and like those guys, Upshaw will have his work cut out for him.
Although Hibbert is not one of the best at his position right now, just two years ago he was arguably the best center in basketball, back when the Pacers were running the tables in the regular season in 2014.
Upshaw can learn a lot from Hibbert, hopefully enough to become the NBA’s next great rim protector. Here’s three things Upshaw can learn from Hibbert:
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