The D-League has tossed Lakers affiliate player Robert Upshaw from the league for violating its anti-drug program, according to Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). The big man was a highly touted college prospect, but his checkered past caused NBA teams to pass on him in last year’s draft. He was with the Lakers for the preseason and joined their D-League team shortly thereafter. It’s unclear what the terms of Upshaw’s punishment are, with the D-League saying merely that his playing services had been terminated for the drug violation.
Upshaw, 22, didn’t see the court much in the D-League this season, as he averaged only 15.6 minutes per game over 28 appearances, but he was impressive on the boards, snagging 4.5 per outing in that limited playing time. The 7-footer remains a work in progress on the offensive end, averaging 7.3 points to accompany a slash line of .477/.200/.610.
The center failed to impress the Lakers during the preseason, nabbing just 3.0 rebounds while scoring 2.5 points in 14.1 minutes per contest in four appearances this past fall. Upshaw pocketed a $35K partial guarantee from that contract, one that took several weeks to finalize. The team had set “offseason off-court goals” for him to meet before officially signing him, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.