As a precursor to the 2015 NBA draft, exiled University of Washington 7-footer Robert Upshaw is seriously considering a leap to the NBA Development League, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar dismissed Upshaw on Monday, which could give the oft-troubled junior the ability to enter into the D-League’s pool of players and be selected by a team to play the rest of the season.
This could be a way for Upshaw to improve his standing and stock with NBA teams before entering the June NBA draft.
After his dismissal from Washington, Upshaw’s inner-circle has begun the agent selection process, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The NBA does not allow players enrolled at the beginning of a school year to make the immediate move into the D-League unless there’s corroboration that the NCAA or university has declared them ineligible. The D-League has yet to gather information on Upshaw’s case, sources said, but the path of P.J. Hairston – who was declared ineligible at North Carolina in December 2013 – gives Upshaw hope that his case will be seen in a similar way.
Should Upshaw sign a standard D-League contract, Grand Rapids holds the top position to claim him via the waiver process.
Upshaw, 21, is rated as the NBA’s No. 20 prospect on Draft Express.com’s Top 100 list. Upshaw averaged 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and an NCAA-leading 4.4 blocks in 24.9 minutes a game for Washington. Upshaw started his career at Fresno State.
Upshaw has previously failed drug tests in college and spent part of his freshman summer in John Lucas’ Houston-based treatment program.