When Ebanks didn't hear his name called in those first 30 picks, it had to be a huge letdown. Once you turn that thing over and start picking from No. 31 - the start of the second round - all that guaranteed money dries up. Every penny. Those second-rounders aren't much different from free agents in that they will have to be impressive during the NBA Summer League and carry that over to training camp just to make a roster. And even then, instead of millions in guaranteed money it's likely to be the NBA minimum of just over $450,000.
Hopefully, though, Ebanks gets over that disappointment in a hurry and landing with the Lakers should help. No team in the NBA needs cheap labor more than L.A. because the Lakers are almost $28 million over the salary cap for next year. They have to cut and that probably means keeping at least one rookie. Ebanks and UTEP's Derrick Caracter (formerly of Louisville) were the team's only draft picks Thursday.
Perhaps just as significant, though, is Ebanks' comfort level.
"I live like two minutes away from Ron Artest and 10 minutes from Lamar. I see them all the time,'' said Ebanks, who like those two Lakers is from Queens. "Having a chance to play with them is a great opportunity.''
Indeed, while there is no plus to being picked 43rd instead of in the first 30, Ebanks probably landed in the best spot available. And now it's up to him.
"I'm a young player who's willing to learn,'' Ebanks said. "They just won an NBA championship and I have a whole lot to learn about the NBA. What better team [to learn from] than the Lakers?
"I just want to get better. I'm playing for the best team in the world. I want to go in and learn from the veterans and hopefully my career can take off from there.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.