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Russell Hicks Invited To Lakers Training Camp

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<strike>Championship?</strike> Russell Hicks.
Championship? Russell Hicks.

The Los Angeles Lakers have invited former NBA Development League big man Russell Hicks to play for them in training camp according to TrueHoop's Henry Abbott.

If you don't remember Hicks' D-League career, it's probably because it lasted all of four games and 21 minutes of floor time with the Iowa Energy in early December before Cartier Martin returned to the team and left Hicks in the free agent bin before joining the Edmonton Energy of the IBL.

So how was he able to get a training camp invite to the defending world champions after not being able to stick on an NBA Development League roster for more than 21 minutes?

"The Lakers called to bring him for a workout before vet camp. He went in there and impressed them to some degree. He is a talented, athletic seven-footer who bounced around his first year out of college," Hicks' agent, Sam Porter, told Truehoop. "With Russ I just told him to go there and play like his career is on the line. Because in a way, it is. He is the type of player -- a big seven-footer -- where the European game isn't a great fit for him. So he is better off being the third center for an NBA team. He went to camp with the Heat last season, so he has been down this road before."

Hicks actually isn't a bad training camp invite, despite my tweet that seemed to indicate I thought otherwise.  Draft Express guru Jonathan Givony soon corrected me, however, by tweeting that "there will be plenty of chumps invited to be extra bodies/practice cones in NBA training camp shortly. It means very little."

Givony went on to tweet "Not all training camp invites are created the same. Some are legit, some are favors, some are intended for the team's D-League affiliate, etc."

Regardless of why Hicks has earned this invite (chump or no chump), I hope he makes the most of it.  And, hell, the Lakers invited lightly-regarded big men Michael Fey and Tony Gaffney to training camp last season and they both turned out to have alright seasons - Fey in the D-League, Gaffney signed the Celtics - so all isn't lost for the big fella.