Among the points shared from Derrick Caracter's exit interview was the need and determination maintain a suitable weight. D.C. has lost about 30-40 pounds since college and wants to drop another 15-20. The approaches will include proper eating, boxing and ballet, the latter to additionally increase flexibility. (I'll go out on a limb and predict he's the biggest student in class.) He also talked about the rookie experience, plus the ways he learned under a squad of veterans and Phil Jackson, whose unique approach was an eye-opener.
His most compelling thoughts, however, were shared on the topic of maturity, arguably of the reddest of flags for Derrick coming out of college. His admission of room to grow could have applied in a lot of aspects, whether his recent arrest in New Orleans or the admitted failure to remain mentally ready for opportunities earlier in the season.
"Just staying true to your word," said Caracter on where he fell short. "If I say I'm gonna go do this, then do that. If I say I'm gonna work out at a certain time, not pushing it back. Coming up with a plan and sticking to the plan."
Devin Ebanks talked about the learning experience of being a rookie, provided an update on his leg injury (still not all the way healed) and being teammates with Lamar Odom and Ron Artest, both of whom he's known since childhood. The most interesting takeaway, however, was the instructions given to him for offseason work.
"They just wanted to me to obviously get better and get stronger, work on my shooting skills, become a 3/2. They'd like me at that 2 position, especially with my length and my athletic ability. So working on those key things."
"They would like to see me there. That's one of the things we spoke about and that's one of the things they wanted me to work on, so I'm definitely gonna try."
This assessment mirrored statements made earlier this season by PJ, who expressed a desire to mold Ebanks' guard skills. If that's the direction, the plan becomes especially becomes especially intriguing in regards to Shannon Brown's ability to opt out of his contract. Shannon (whose exit interview will be posted later) wouldn't divulge clues about his plans, but opted out and tested free agency last season before eventually resigning. Should Shannon repeat that process, a reasonable amount of faith in Ebanks could mean the Lakers cutting bait or, at the very least, maintaining conservative price points with Shannon. And even if Shannon sticks around, the regression this season could allow Ebanks the chance at open competition for minutes behind Kobe.
As for Trey Johnson, he talked about the skill set he wants to improve (namely three-point shooting), a desire to eventually coach and the general experience of going from D-League to NBA playoff roster out of nowhere.
Johnson said there was no indication during the meeting about another tryout next season -- Johnson was among the last cut during the 2010 training camp -- but from his perspective, the Lakers have already done him a huge solid. Trey's hopeful their trust in adding him to a two-time defending roster speaks well on his behalf when it comes to carving out a place on an NBA roster.