Lakers sign Devin Ebanks
LOS ANGELES -- The final pieces of the Los Angeles Lakers roster that will compete for a three-peat championship have fallen into place.
The Lakers announced on Thursday the signing of forward Devin Ebanks, the first of two second-round selections in the draft.
Ebanks signed a non-guaranteed deal for the rookie minimum worth $473,604 if he makes the team, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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The 6-foot-9 swingman, drafted 43rd overall out of West Virginia, played on the Lakers' Las Vegas Summer League entry. He averaged 15 points and started all five games.
In two collegiate seasons with the Mountaineers, the 20-year-old Ebanks averaged 11.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 69 games.
Ebanks posted on his Twitter account on Thursday that he will wear No. 3, the same number worn by former Laker Trevor Ariza, to whom Ebanks bears a striking resemblance.
The Lakers' other second-round draft pick, Derrick Caracter, a 6-9 big man selected No. 58 out of the University of Texas-El Paso, has also agreed to terms with the team. Caracter is flying out to Los Angeles on Thursday to officially sign with the team Friday, according to Caracter's agent, Happy Walters.
Walters said Caracter's deal is guaranteed at the rookie minimum for 2010-11 with a team option in place worth approximately $788,000 for the following season.
Caracter averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in his lone season with UTEP after transferring from Louisville.
The signings cap off a successful offseason for Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, who managed to retain coach Phil Jackson and guards Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown; add tested-veteran free agents Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff without overpaying; and find two players to help the team via the 2010 NBA draft despite not having a first-round pick. That pick was sent to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the Pau Gasol trade.
The Lakers will carry 14 players on their roster next season, one more than the league-minimum 13 the team had in 2009-10.
Ebanks will provide some depth at backup small forward behind Ron Artest and Barnes and gives the team some insurance should Luke Walton's troublesome back cause him to miss a significant amount of time as it did last season. Caracter will provide size behind Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Ratliff.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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