After emerging as an NBA D-League All-Star and bonafide M.V.P. candidate last season while playing for the Springfield Armor, former Lakers' forward Devin Ebanks cashed in on his most recent success by signing a deal in Israel.
But as D-League teams begin training camp this week, and eye the start of the season soon after, the 25 year has reportedly been waived by his international squad, leading to speculation that he'll return to the minor league with the NBA season already underway.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Waived from Israel, Devin Ebanks has returned stateside. Safe to assume he'll look for a D-League spot.</p>— David Pick (@IAmDPick) <a href="https://twitter.com/IAmDPick/status/528952006312878080">November 2, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Having replaced the Springfield Armor in the D-League (and thus, since, acquiring all of the team's previous assets), the Pistons' affiliated Grand Rapids Drive now own Ebanks' minor league rights.
With his rights transferring from one team to another, it's unknown whether or not (or better yet, how highly) the Drive value Ebanks. He's experienced his own respective ups and downs throughout his brief career, highlighted by some off-the-court troubles. Nevertheless, the talent is there, and because he's still relatively young, the intrigue from others should still be there, too.
If the Drive aren't interested in exploring such a possibility, however, they could still have a valuable trading chip on their hands.
Should the Pistons' affiliate look to trade him (and/or at the very least, entertain offers for Ebanks), the Westchester Knicks should the be the first team on the phone.
For a minor league franchise just starting out, such a talent would be a key building block. But even more so, there's plenty of connections between the team and Ebanks.
As a member of the Lakers from 2010-13, Ebanks was coached by now Knicks President Phil Jackson during his rookie campaign. What's more, he was a teammate of New York head coach Derek Fisher for two seasons in Los Angeles as well. It's fair to safe to say that Ebanks, as young as he may have been and as limited as his experience (on the court) was, his familiarity with the triangle offense is higher than that of most other players around the league.
Furthermore, playing for Westchester would serve to be a bit of a homecoming for Ebanks as well. In addition to being a Queens, New York native, the forward still spends some of his offseason in the Big Apple. As fate would have it, he could be found on multiple occasions hitting the hardwood at Terminal 23 (otherwise known as the "Melo gym") just this past summer, playing pickup ball with current Knickerbockers Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, among others.
Needless to say, Westchester could prove to be a positive landing spot for the young gun as he looks to remain focused and jumpstart his NBA career. It'll be interesting to see what Grand Rapids and Ebanks decide to do as the season begins.