Robert Upshaw didn’t cut it in his first attempt to play in the NBA, so he’s going to try out playing overseas to potentially build up his value. Upshaw has agreed to a deal with BC Kalev/Cramo in Estonia, as noted by Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.
A statement from the team (roughly translated) highlights the troubles Upshaw has had in his short basketball career:
Interesting official statement (translated) from former Laker/D-Fender Robert Upshaw's new team pic.twitter.com/cC9LqnL7AB
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) September 1, 2016
Despite boasting a lot of talent, the 22-year-old went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft thanks to numerous red flags, but he joined the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2015 NBA Summer League and training camp. The Lakers waived him, but he was soon acquired by the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ affiliate in the D-League.
Unfortunately, Upshaw’s D-League contract was terminated for violating the league’s anti-drug program. In 28 games with the D-Fenders, which included two starts, he averaged 7.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while playing 15.6 minutes per game.
The way Upshaw’s time in the D-League ended was the latest in a long line of trouble for the youngster. He was originally a consensus top 100 recruit out of high school and committed to play for Kansas State, but he was released when then-Wildcats coach Frank Martin left for South Carolina and wound up at Fresno State. In his freshman season at Fresno State, he recorded 4.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per contest, but the summer after his freshman year the Bulldogs dismissed him for violating team rules.
From there Upshaw transferred to Washington. After sitting a year, he notched 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game in 2014-15, which was just his second full season of college basketball. His 4.5 blocks per game actually led the nation, but again, Upshaw violated team rules and was dismissed. Both dismissals likely played a huge role in the block artist going undrafted in 2015.
In a way it’s fitting Upshaw is going from playing with the Lakers to BC Kalev/Cramo, because they are currently dominating just like Los Angeles used to. BC Kalev went 32-0 last season and has won six of the last eight league championships dating back to 2008-09.