Why Robert Upshaw Can Be Steal of the 2015 NBA Draft for Los Angeles Lakers

Robert Upshaw is a 7-foot, shot-blocking savant.

Dare to encroach upon his paint, and he will crush you. Try seeking refuge in jump shots, and he will rush out with his 7'5" wingspan and consume the ball on its upward trajectory like a giant pterodactyl.

But despite all of that, the former Washington Huskies center went undrafted Thursday night at Barclays Center. 

That could work to the advantage of the Los Angeles Lakers, a team without a quality center currently under contract. Per Sean Deveney of Sporting News, the L.A. front office has officially passed on picking up Jordan Hill’s $9 million option for next season. The team also has until June 30 to exercise the $981,358 option on Robert Sacre—a 7-foot palooka with limited rebounding and shot-blocking skills.

Heading into summer free agency, management will attempt to lure one of the top available big men. But there will also be a chance to catch Upshaw’s shot-swatting act at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The man with all of the red flags and eye-popping potential will be a member of the purple and gold squad, according to Real GM's Shams Charania.

Could an undrafted rookie actually be the steal of the 2015 class? The 21-year-old averaged 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 blocks over 19 games with the Huskies this season.

Yet, there is a reason no one chose Upshaw and his prodigious talents in the draft. It starts with getting booted from not one, but two college programs. The first was Fresno State, which dismissed the freshman prospect on August 14, 2013, for repeated violations of athletic department policy.

Upshaw got back on track by spending part of that summer at John Lucas' treatment program in Houston before enrolling at Washington, where he redshirted for his sophomore year.

With the 258-pound center in the lineup, Washington went 14-5 during the 2014-15 season...

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