Lakers Goals Should Include Development of Devin Ebanks
It will be quite an interesting scenario that the Lakers and the other NBA teams will face once the lockout concludes and the league will be acting under a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Since a hard salary cap will possibly be a part of the new agreement, it will cause teams like the Lakers to make some roster changes to adhere to the new CBA.
This means that the Lakers will have to face a new reality that they can no longer acquire whatever talent they want. This also means that the Lakers will need to keep players whose salary expectations align with the new hard cap requirement. These players tend to be the players who are in a one or two year contract, meaning rookies or free agents.
Therefore, there is one player that is coming off his rookie year and whose contract is one that could remain in purple and gold despite the new requirements in the CBA. Devin Ebanks saw little playing time with the Lakers last season. In fact, Ebanks only played 20 games, with an average of 5.9 minutes and 3.1 points per game.* However, this had more to do with Phil Jackson’s decision not to play him rather than his lack of talent.
Developing talent hasn’t been a calling card for the Lakers. They are generally known for having the top talent in the league and for winning by building teams around superstars. It is hard to fault the Lakers for doing this, especially when you consider their results. However, there are times when developing talent from within is more beneficial than you might expect. This may be one of those times.
Remember Andrew Bynum prior to the 2008-2009 season? He seemed way out of his league on the court. Fans scratched their heads when Dr. Buss choose Bynum over acquiring All-Star Jason Kidd. Development, patience, support and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made Bynum a star center in his own right. This same process is what the Lakers need to implement with Devin Ebanks.
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