The Los Angeles Lakers may have gotten better last week when they agreed to a sign-and-trade with Phoenix to acquire Steve Nash, but they also got older by bringing the 38-year-old point guard into the fold.
The move the team made on Tuesday retained some young talent for Nash to work with.
Restricted free agent forward Devin Ebanks agreed to a one-year deal with the Lakers worth $1,085,000, according to his agent, David Bauman. The deal cannot be officially signed until Wednesday, when the NBA lifts its league-wide moratorium on new business.
Ebanks, who turns 23 in October, averaged 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds last year for the Lakers in his second season after being drafted in the second round out of West Virginia in 2010. He started 12 games, beginning the season as the starting small forward over Metta World Peace and later filling in for Kobe Bryant for five games when Bryant was out with a left shin injury late in the year. Ebanks averaged 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds on 47.8 percent shooting as a starter.
"He's happy there," Bauman said of Ebanks' experience in L.A. during a phone interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Bauman added that Ebanks would likely play on the Lakers' summer league team, which will begin play in Las Vegas on Friday.
"He wants to show (Lakers coach) Mike Brown what he can do," Bauman said.
The Lakers are not expected to bring back free agent forward Matt Barnes next season, so Ebanks could make his way up the depth chart. However, the team also has interest in bringing in Grant Hill to play backup small forward.
Ebanks' contract is worth approximately $200,000 more than the league minimum for a third year player.
He is one of the six "bench babies" -- along with 2011 second-round picks Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris, 2012 second-round picks Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre, as well as the 23-year-old Christian Eyenga, acquired from Cleveland at last season's trade deadline -- that the Lakers hope can develop into consistent contributors.