The Lakers have waived Robert Upshaw and Michael Frazier to drop their roster to 17 players, the team announced. Upshaw, a troubled but intriguing prospect, has a $35K partial guarantee while Frazier is assured of $50K. The Lakers will be responsible for those amounts if they clear waivers. The team still has 12 fully guaranteed contracts plus five more without full guarantees, so more decisions await before the team has to cut down to 15 players for opening night.
It appeared Upshaw would sign with the Lakers much sooner than he did this past offseason as he continued to deal with personal matters. Both Fresno State and Washington dismissed the now 21-year-old center as he dealt with substance abuse issues, and he went undrafted this past June in spite of talent that would suggest he would have merited a pick. He struggled on offense, as Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times points out (Twitter link), averaging just 2.5 points in 14.1 points per game across four preseason appearances, laying to rest speculation that he would beat out Robert Sacre, who has a fully guaranteed salary, for a regular season roster spot.
Frazier, 21, also struggled to score in his four preseason games, posting 2.0 PPG in 13.4 MPG. The shooting guard went undrafted out of Florida this year, though he was the 55th-best prospect, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
Tarik Black, Jabari Brown, Marcelo Huertas and Metta World Peace are still with the Lakers on non-guaranteed deals, while Jonathan Holmes has a partial guarantee worth $100K. Holmes dislocated his right shoulder during Monday’s game, and he’ll be immobilized for the next couple of weeks, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. The partial guarantee covers about a month’s worth of games, but if he’s still unable to play after that, the Lakers will have to shell out more of his salary until he’s able to play, regardless of whether they waive him, as Pincus explains.
Who do you think the Lakers should keep for opening night? Leave a comment to let us know.