Report: Potential first rounder Robert Upshaw could sign in D-League after Washington dismissal
Upshaw failed multiple drug tests at both schools, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
What’s next for the 7-footer who was averaging 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game?
He might try to follow P.J. Hairston’s path from disciplined in college to the D-League to the first round of the NBA draft.
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Upshaw has first-round talent. He’s a commanding presence in the paint, especially defensively.
But teams will look deeply into his red flags, including both his dismissals and injury history. If it turns out Upshaw did nothing illegal in the state of Washington, he’ll get a little slack, though only a little. Teams will still question his inability to pass drug tests he’ll be subject to in the NBA. Larry Sanders’ recent issues work against Upshaw, fairly or not.
The D-League could be a good place for Upshaw to turn perception, especially for whichever team’s affiliate claims him.
Sometimes, the value of NBA teams having their own D-League affiliate is debatable. They could just be developing talent for other teams, because anyone can sign D-Leaguers who aren’t on NBA assignments or who don’t have their draft rights held by an NBA team.
But this is a clear case where it’s a benefit. Any team considering drafting Upshaw will want as much info on him as possible, and a great way to get it would be working with him the rest of the season.
The Pistons’ affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, have priority on the waiver wire. If Upshaw joins the D-League, they should claim him. If they don’t, I doubt he’d drop far.