After not playing the first two preseason games in Hawaii, undrafted rookie center Robert Upshaw finally got his opportunity against the Toronto Raptors in Ontario, CA. In 25 minutes of action, Upshaw had six points, three rebounds and two blocks.
Following his debut, Upshaw was asked what he needs to prove during preseason in order to make the team’s opening night roster via LakersNation.com reporter Serena Winters:
Robert Upshaw on what he needs to prove: "Being an anchor on defense, keep up the intensity, set harder screens, rebound & block shots."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 9, 2015
Considered a lottery-talent, Upshaw went undrafted due to off the court issues. However, immediately after the NBA Draft, the Lakers took a chance and signed him to their Summer League team. While he struggled with conditioning at the Las Vegas Summer League, Upshaw lost 25 pounds and was eventually signed to the training camp roster.
Although Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly have guaranteed contracts, general manager Mitch Kupchak has previously stated the Lakers are ‘open’ to cutting a guaranteed contract if necessary. Should Upshaw continue to show his potential on the court and stay out of trouble, he has a real opportunity to make the 15-man roster on Oct. 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.