Devin Ebanks Can Help the Lakers, But Will He Get the Chance?

Los Angeles Lakers' coach Phil Jackson hasn't garnered his reputation as the greatest basketball coach in the history of the NBA for his ability to develop rookies, so the prospects of forward Devin Ebanks making a major splash appear to be slim.

In fact, few people who follow the Lakers think Ebanks has a chance to earn much playing time at all this season unless it's in the NBA's developmental league.

The Lakers are a veteran team coming off back to back NBA championships; it's hard to picture Jackson changing his philosophy considering this is his final season and he has his roster from last year virtually intact.

Jackson has always been known to side with experience rather than youth, and this usually holds true regardless of a player's athleticism or talent, with few exceptions.

Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, and Theo Ratliff were the Lakers' major free agency signings; all three players come with varying degrees of NBA experience and all three figure to play prominent roles next season.

But if Ebanks can prove that he is truly as versatile as his summer league showing suggested, then Jackson may find that his presence could be very beneficial for the Lakers.

Some people feel that Ebanks was a first round talent that fell to the second round due to questions about his offense; but if he were to be a role player for the Lakers, his scoring would not be necessary.


Ebanks has flashed a decent perimeter shot and the ability to score off the dribble better than anticipated, but any minutes he plays for the Lakers will be earned on the defensive end.

Los Angeles has numerous scoring options in players like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum, so unless Ebanks has some superior offensive talent lying dormant, he will never be asked to score.

But if Ebanks can become a consistent player on the defen...

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