The 6’8″ forward from West Virginia displayed his incredible wingspan during his college tenure, which allowed him to be a constant threat on the boards, especially on the offensive glass. He has long arms and big hands, which allows him to easily get his hand on the ball during defensive situations. During his college days he was a good passer, and showed he had a high basketball IQ through his creativity with the ball.
A drawback of Ebanks at West Virginia, which he also showed with the Lakers, was his habit of being too unselfish with the ball. This directly results in missed opportunities, bad shots and Ebanks getting lost in the play. He has been working on his mid-range jump shot since his time at West Virginia, but there is some potential. He also needs to develop an aggressive side, which would work well with Mike Brown’s defensive philosophy.
When Ebanks was on the court for the first time in the regular season last year, he physically resembled Trevor Ariza, which unfairly stirred up expectations. However, due to his lack of contributions on the court, he was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam in December and returned to the Lakers line-up in January when F Matt Barnes went down. Later in the season, Ebanks fractured his leg in a practice session prior to a game against the Grizzles.
Devin Ebanks has the necessary tools to become a consistent contributor for the Lakers. A starting position is not a reality now or in the next few years. However, with Metta World Peace’s career in its later stages and Matt Barnes being his likely replacement, Ebanks would make a great relief player for the small forward position. Hopefully development becomes a “normal” process in the Lakers organization, and Devin Ebanks is a great candidate for this initiative.